WHITE COMMIE WET DREAM
for Oscar Garcia Rivera, the artist
“What are revolutionary and non-revolutionary writers’ and artists’ rights? Under the revolution: everything; against the revolution, none.”
—Fidel Castro, 1961
proletariat paradise lost isle
of morning melon and mamey slices
afternoon hot cafecitas
evening peppery cigars, where
mamacitas of all shades stroll along
all day long / long time ago:
Oscar’s hand slashed
by Castro’s men
so he could paint no more—
watch pre-seatbelt cars vroom vroom
through Old Havana’s crowded roads.
see the people hard at work,
smiling. there’s work for everyone in Cuba.
a person who won’t work is no person.
abuelo wanted to be a good padre and husband,
became a person detained to cut cane, like many
of-age men who wanted out.
slapped with four years in the fields
as his family flew away—
you simply must walk along the Malecón
lit by creamy sunset,
where the people gather and laugh,
where dilapidated Central Havana buildings
glow like tribute candles for Yemayá.
every Cuban loves art and poetry
escape all woes on the esplanade
in chats with the expert chatters.
ask what’s happened to Cubans
who say too much too loud.
slice open a mango. squeeze the juice
along my collar bone and drink. taste
Alberro, taste Diezmero, taste Cojímar Bay trout,
fresh ropa vieja, Celia’s azucary sweat,
then spit it out.
love this land / shut your mouth.