The near-midnight streets

are littered with

the frenzied sales of this day

Someone sweeps them

into large piles

& sets them ablaze

On one corner a family sits

drinking to music


           & the man in the bright pink wig dances


On corners

& midways down blocks

the Merry Widows of this dying year

stop cars for coins

dancing, lying atop hoods


           & the man in the bright pink wig dances


On stages decked with eucalyptus

Old Man Years slump in plastic chairs

a DJ spins, a young woman sings


& the man in the bright pink wig

dances with abandon


The midnight hour

the Old Men are dragged to

the center of those cobblestone streets

gasoline poured & set afire


           & the man in the bright pink wig

                  dances with frenzy


As far as the streets climb

steeply up, the fires blaze, fireworks



            & the man in the bright pink wig

                 frantically dances

                        to forget he cannot go home

            to his war-rent country

                  his family cannot get out

                        his uncle dies of poisoned water

                              a wife to be found, a family to be formed


Heavy smoke filled the narrow streets

stinging eyes, burning lungs

creeping past shuttered shops

creeping past the migrant indigenous

families come to the city for work

round dancing to Andean cumbia


            & the man in the bright pink wig

                        dances, dances


About the Poet

L Caputo -- Profile photoLorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 100 journals in Canada, the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa; 11 chapbooks of poetry, including the upcoming Notes from the Patagonia (dancing girl press, 2016); and 17 anthologies. In March 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada chose her verse as poem of the month. Caputo has done over 200 literary readings, from Alaska to the Patagonia. For the past decade, she has been traveling through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth.