With rum that pulses in veins to the
rhythm of cha cha bands—
men caressing guitar strings,
and swaying their hips—
it is easy to forget the call of democracy.
No ocean breeze
penetrates the age old heat
that is trapped by walls of stone
in a town square. Vibrant blues, greens, and
oranges take our attentions captive
so that we do not recognize the absence of
the life we know.
Laundry blows from a balcony
and cigar smoke lingers in the air. The lilt
of foreign tongues dance while
a man with smooth brown skin winks. Bueno.
A child laughs.
An old woman, hunched in an arched doorway
watches, nods. We forget heartache.
Che Guevera, impossibly handsome, overlooks
every move from a poster here. A billboard there.
His warm eyes convincing us
that revolution can be progressively suave.
The people are warm. Ask us anything they tell us.
We will be honest.
But the cab driver from Guantanamo
driving a 56 Chevy
doesn’t quite answer my questions about Castro.
And the tour guide with her open smile dismisses
me with humor.
But I understand.
I too live in a country where the corrupt are forgiven or forgotten.
Where those who have sinned against us
do not need to repent,
and the people who have
been sinned against,
do not often know.