Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo

Nathalie Handal

A multicultured coat. A motorbike. A star like Jupiter. A mirror of unfinished voices. A drawing of blue feathers. A dancelike night in coco. Breath—air out of bamboo drums. A canvas of yellow suns. The bells dreaming of nights before a colony of clouds. Music sinking in wings, rivers keeping hope tight. Cities hiding cities. A thousand nunca te olvidarés on the wall. A simple Que tal following. This place remembers where stars die and resurrect—on walls of old churchs in the Colonial Zone or on the Malecon. River reveries want speed that sing twice for pleasure, for Repiao. An ancient morning announcing a miracle, a history gone mad, a carnival of stanzas, valleys of trees—ceibas and guamas—rooted and unnoted. The glory of folk in whisperings. Enigma in street songs on hushed corners of endless rain, where women console men. Where bodies transport grief. Songs played on cans. Uncombed hearts. Citadels of legends. A small field of bees. El Turko counting  pasts. Sammy Sosa in a guayabera. Juan Luis Guerra drinking Frutina. Jaragua y El Ambassador lit up, asking the difference between dioses y fuegos.

Dime compañera

Where else could space imagine the shape of silence, and silence contemplate the color green, but en el Jardín Botánico?

Where else do parks confuse us better, in other words, give us more direction than Parque Colón, Parque Duarte y Parque Mirador?

Dime, where else can you find mannequins with such huge boobs as in Plaza Central or Acrópolis? Where else do birds find such red chairs but in Plaza de España?

A beautiful woman in a black dress beside an old woman watching a telenovela in a hair salon in Piantini.

A man with a Yankees cap taking his children in school uniforms to watch a game in Gazcue.

Dime, did you see the walls filled with water in the Acuario Nacional? Did you hear the boy ask, why pay to see a fish?

Why stand on land when swimming teaches us arriving, or is it hoping?

Dime, did you find a bag of unsung areitos in Villa Duarte, a colony of colibris in La Zurza or by the Zoologico Nacional?

Who’s playing the maraca outside of Carrefour, and saving the secrets of the maguey in Las Caobas?

Who collects hamacas in Arroyo Hondo, and old tickets stubs from past shows in the Teatro Nacional?

Who keeps asking us if evenings end en el Barrio Chino—where else in Santo Domingo can you find wonders touched by these streets?

Men smoking a cojiba in Plaza Simón Bolívar ask me: Compañera, is it true it all started en Casa de Teatro—the perfect love—the bachata playing, the silhouette of a dress half made of stars telling us, this city will keep moving us?

Posted: March 9, 2014 at 2:06 am

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