Tango/Tourist Nights, Hotel Nutibarra, Medellin, La Feria, 2007

Roll up, or roll down
The cracked, winding central staircase
To the lounge still stuffed with yanks
And their peroxide wives.
Or shall we dance in the ballroom,
Its wood-panelled walls
(Cedar, not oak – this is the tropics)
Chipped. Its marble dance-floor
Now tiled. The toilet-cisterns
In the caballeros
Chained and pad-locked to prevent
Any sicario's
Man on the inside from
Planting a gun
Or a miliciano
A bomb.

Three young guns
With greasy curls
And wide lapels
Swing three heavy girls,
Watched by an ageing pinchado
Audience and a band
Of two blind electric
And an accordionist though no
A bald man in a trilby
Sings passionately
A blowsy blond who likewise
Has seen better days
Stretches her arse in velvet:

Nuestro patrimonio en nuestro patrimonio.

And my thoughts turn to Isabelita
Earlier that evening
With her neat behind and
Firm body,
How she had whispered in my ear,
'Tu eres divina'.