Untitled (Havana, 2000)
after Tania Bruguera
Queers—confirmed or suspected—were one of several groups of ‘social
deviants’ imprisoned and sentenced to labor following the Cuban Revolution.
The Cuban government has since taken responsibility, and today, trans
healthcare is provided to Cubans for free.
power falls twice: you’re either rain
or a worm reacting to it
to whom or what do you choose
may cuba live
island her own, free from us
of a, por siempre
gusanería: worms piling
in the absence of light
you’ve entered now
your feet crunch mashed bagasse
the cool air whiffs molasses wafts
can you feel the humans here
each distinct from their rulers?
no one name names the unnamed
hands behind your head
you have the silence to remain right
you have the silence to remain
right there, between tooth & gum
to whom do you bow
against your will?
look: looped video in darkened cove
all you see is leader smiling
leader in profile leader hugging
& kissing the masses
he bares his furry chest
sans bulletproof vest
young fidel? you would
& so would we—
what about young w. bush
or younger or older obama
& there’s that one stalin shot!
we see time after time
how politekind thirsts for stained
palms on our star-struck thighs
once you walk away
what becomes of those who cannot?
gusanería: light’s absence
piling the worms
a man who thinks himself rain
would claim any old flood was just
Copyright © 2021 by Kyle Carrero Lopez. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 16, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.