Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cachao and Me

A prized possession: A signed photo of Cachao.

Israel Lopes invented the Mambo
Everybody called him Cachao
I didn't call him much of anything
as he died in 2008

Dead and buried
in the basement
of a house in Chicago
— Ashes to ashes
under inches of dust
Is where I found Cachao

Cachao was in his renaissance
— It was 1995
When the world once again
took notice of the Mambo Kings
and he was up for auction

Cachao was resurrected
in a garage sale
in the Western Suburbs
Far from California Avenue
Far from Spanish Harlem
Even further from his native Cuba

Cachao and me are hanging now
He, on a wall in a vacant house
Me, drinking sangria
From a plastic Chicago White Sox cup

— Mark Butkus


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