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September 1, 2015 Poetry

I Had a Dream That Was a Salsa Flavor

Jason Koo

I Had a Dream That Was a Salsa Flavor photo

for Rachel Corso

Have you tried all our salsa flavors before?
This is mild (not medium), this is spicy, this is verde
(That means green), this is volcanic, this is you

Not listening. What’s that? Oh, the moment
You pretend not to have heard what someone said
Even though you did, just barely, hear said

Said. I walked home across the Williamsburg
Bridge, stepping on all the poetries scribbled
By the city. When the journey grows too epic,

You feel it in your knees, creaking gingerly
To the bar to meet your buddy who’s drinking
Wine to keep off the weight. All the poetries

Rejected by the city, more read now on the bridge
Than in its literary journals. I have a poem for you
I’d like to recite. It’s called Margarita. Actually

I have three. Yes, they’re all called Margarita.
I thought you might be interested in those!
The first ends in a bar called Featherweight

Where your body has abandoned you to talk
To its soul brother in jail, whiskey glass still full
In front of the place it was, two whiskey glasses

In front of the place you were, socially acceptable
You. Another ends with you on your bed eating
Your thirteenth General Tso’s this month, watching

Dirty Dancing and texting a girl who just got
Broken up with over the phone by her boyfriend
Of 4.5 years. During this conversation, “obvi”

Is used for the second time in your life, confirming
A new linguistic trend. Obvi, didn’t you know?
Btw Jennifer Grey is now in her bra, I thought

You should know. Haha phew yes I was wondering.
The third poem ends, obvi, with the Pachanga.
GREAT idea, Johnny Castle says. All the little dances

In your head like different salsa flavors, you’re up
On your roof shadowboxing moves that only need
A body to fill them. Frankie Martinez says, Any time

You see anyone acting like they’re crazy in this city,
You know they’re just one of my salsa students.
He describes one move as like a woman brushing

A strand of hair over her right ear with her left hand
Because her right hand is already holding her bag.
And in that moment you think all you want to do

In life is brush a strand of hair over a woman’s ear
Because she has no free hands left to do so herself.
Are you really watching Dirty Dancing alone right now?

That’s, like, almost a sin. Hey, “Like almost a sin” is
My life. Hey, it’s better to walk a thin line than
Actually cross it. The thin line is my middle meanest.


image: Jason Koo