Margot to Cuca - Havana 1961

by Summer Bordon

sister, they are shooting into the sky like cubensis, all gold-headed, popping up
across Havana like one million trees have died and left their roots beneath my
city, these buildings with windows shining like chewed gum, these buildings
named for no one. in dreams my hair, which is like your hair, grows faster
than a spool of thread unraveling. I scale the scaffolding of every structure we
are building and when I reach the top my hair is mopping the streets below. I
am looking for you there, sister, but instead my country waits for me, seeping
into the ocean like bones seeping into broth.                             in the morning,

I spread butter on toast and stir coffee with a spoon. this is the least of my
problems. Vicente says we are changing everything that must be changed and
smears a streak of orange across the wall. I am stuck in love like fingers stuck
in a bowling ball, swollen to fill the holes. sister, we are making plans: sketching
into the sunrise, passing pencils across the table like a bowl of grapes. sister,

are you well fed? when I hugged you goodbye, your hip left a bruise on my
thigh. your boys must be growing like rust on a nail, toes stabbing through
the leather of their shoes. I see them now, Charlie, Nestor, David, crouching
in the bushes on the farm, lobbing avocados at our mother who stands on the
porch, the fruit thudding against the side of the house like coins dropping
into a bucket.                                                                  sister, is the same sun

looming in Miami’s sky? here, the heat rises from the pavement like a
shimmering ghost. sister, am I haunting you? because you are haunting
me. the after image of your hands, turning the lock on that suitcase
filled with money, glows pink on every wall. Cuca, how could you
forget your favorite dress                                            in this country you swore

never to return to? it hangs in my closet like a punctured balloon.

Cuca, have you heard the Zebu cattle, native to Cuba, cannot produce
milk? the government is importing Holstein cows from the Netherlands,
several thousand since the revolution. in my dreams, milk floods the
streets and soaks into my hair. when I wake my head smells sour. I run
a bath and remind myself: I am building something good here.

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