Remake: West Side Story

–after Steven Spielberg

In this version there are no Jets
or Sharks. There is no Tony
or María. There are no upbeat
dance numbers. This isn’t
a feel-good story. The whole score
is a slow bolero looped for 152 minutes.
“America” is turned into a remix
of “Lamento borincano,” the elegy
it was always meant to be.
The opening scene is a flight
from San Juan to New York
post-María (I guess there is
a María in this movie). It contains
the film’s only cameo: Rita Moreno
stepping off the plane, looking back,
fighting off tears, before she turns forward,
disappears into a throng of bodies
just like the rest of us.

Malcolm Friend

Malcolm Friend is a poet originally from the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University, and his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of the chapbook mxd kd mixtape (Glass Poetry, 2017) and the full length collection Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple (Inlandia Books, 2018), winner of the 2017 Hillary Gravendyk Prize