At The Palazzo

We bought fresh orange juice on the street and moved away from the main square, deeper into the barrio. The building lay behind a high iron fence, the gate dismantled to leave the way clear. A hard sun. Ash-coloured walls sliced with red aerosol daubs, that hurried, runic script which is the same in any language. We sat at the edge of the audience, drinking the warm, pulpy orange juice, resting, waiting. Children ran in circuits around the building, the pale brick, the boarded up windows, a sign reading ‘banos’ pointing inside the decrepit hallway. A dance class was taking place on the ground in front of the entrance, a group of five or six couples learning the moves to strains of a tango record. A man cooked up links of sausage and cuts of meat on an oil drum grill. We hardly spoke as we moved around in the grounds.

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