On the plaza the faces of the young girls
like geranium petals on a brackish pond.
The barrier between twilight and nightfall
is filled with the ghosts of the Revolution,
an armada of American cars from the fifties,
like a bounty of white blood cells flooded
into the body as a defense against oblivion.
Unseen stairs and the lethality of armored
illusions cause the myth of the world to swell
as the streets swarm around my heavy shell.
The East Germans say that the Chinese
should understand Berlin; they have the
Great Wall, constructed with copious amounts
of peasant blood over nineteen centuries.
Something within that doesn't trust a fence,
sees a pathway in a pile of bricks,
cannot find the green reed in the white mist.
I have not seen the sun go down from the steps
of the Acropolis, but I have disappeared into
the purple flare of a sunset beneath Clinch Mountain.
The country is a shadow whose words are overcast.
The Cuban horizon is closing fast,
and in a godless country, the citizenry
has learned to row away from the rocks.
Three girls in their funeral dresses
search the city dump for discarded baby chicks
tossed down from the hatchery on the hill.
Sometimes what is lost wants to be found.
The black and white photos show happy rebels
in fatigues kissing the ground. There is no road
built upon the sea, nothing to unknot the shifting
tides of memory, where the litter of promises
makes the mind go wild. In the beginning
was the Revolution, and death followed
behind it like a nursing child.