Cuba

The poems keep turning into other poems. They won’t stop
doing that.

All morning I have been thinking about Cuba.

I am told I have not yet written this fated “Heart Break Poem” yet,
though to me it seems that nearly every other poem I have written
has defiantly swollen into some incarnation of it.

When I brought it up last night, the bartender spoke of Cuba
as if it were an incandescent dream, stilled in time,
or an idea of time I have had for many days now.
Classic Cars forcing up dust, cruel men looking out
calmly from their porches.

Because of the embargo, if an embargo
is the right word for what it is, one is forced
to travel through Mexico or Canada. Too,
an old friend said her father bribed a man
not to stamp his passport and that there were gardens everywhere,
so it was not difficult to eat fresh things cheaply.
There was little need for fear or scrupulous choice.

I like the idea of a place that is possible
but very difficult to reach, preventing the worried
and dispassionate from entering. So it is. I cannot let go
of the need to return. Or of invention. I love it

because the word sounds almost to me
as if it had been imagined for a place that has not yet
been made. Cuba. How wonderful
it must be, since I am able to believe
it might not even exist at all.

At the end of things I held his hand and carried
a sack of my books and shoes to the train station.
Maybe I will decide to be a fatalist and believe
in the fated parts of things. Out of that pain
came the desire to go to an island to rest, where
I will find everything, or at least, find buried
some thought of where to go after. Oh look.
This one has done it too.

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