Havana, 1957

By Carl Boon

On her honeymoon, she gambled
with Batista coins, danced,
drank rum, made love. It was then
she stopped taking sugar in her coffee.

What’s abundant one no longer needs,
as the cane fields stretched village
to village and the rich and the poor
walked the low road home.

I don’t know when the Cadillacs came,
nor if the church at San Pedro
was as lovely as she described,
with the sun of late September
masquerading among its gates.

She was known to exaggerate,
which happens when the past
confronts us. Memories are attitudes,
like the melodies of schoolgirls
who claimed El Calle de Francisco

as their own and sipped Coca-Cola
while the boys passed photos
of Marilyn Monroe, dreaming of Pelé
and fútbol fields instead of sand.

 

Carl Boon lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey. Recent or forthcoming poems appear in Neat, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, Kentucky Review, and many other magazines.

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