Pablo Medina
Calle de la Amargura

    In Havana there is a street called Calle

    de la Amargura or Street of Bitterness.


On the Street of Bitterness

a man runs from the rain

arms raised into the next imagination.


A woman sits head down 

on the stoop of a house

where her indiscretions

fly about like butterflies.


All songs end,

memories soar over rooftops,

an eyelid swells with desire.


On the street of Bitterness,

Calle de la Amargura, there are boys

switching their tongues,

they dare not speak, they await

their turn in the line of understanding.


On that street

a daughter is dying.

Her father searches for a cure

and finds instead the pillar of his wife,

covered with lizard scales,

melting with the rain.


On the Street of Bitterness,

Calle de la Amargura, no one is surprised

at the awful taste of Paradise.

Found In Volume , No. 1993
Read Issue
  • Pablo Medina
Pablo Medina
About the Author

Pablo Medina has received fellowships from the Oscar B. Cintas Foundation, the state arts councils of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.  Currently, he lives in Boston and is professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College.