Four Poems by Virgil Suarez

A Cuban Dream in Three Parts 1. I am dreaming again of breasts. Mountainous, slick with morning dew breasts. A golden rooster pecks at my eyes, its red wattle like a hand with fingers. A flame tongue. 2. I am a child again, trying to climb a pyramid of green coconuts in the Chinese bodega Someone hands me a mechete. When I start to hack them in half, white doves flutter out to the street. Every skull keeps a secret. 3. There is a bearded man in my dream, he is dressed in a military uniform. His finger nails are sharpened like thorns. When he looks down at me, I see a body dangling from a ceiba trees branch in his almond-colored eyes. It is my father, a gardenia blooms in his mouth. He spits petals at me. In each is written my own demise.
Poem to Eliades Ochoa and Cuarteto Patria’s Rendition of “Saludo Compay.” The oxen cart driven to the sugar cane fields, the look on the driver’s faces, years of hard work had hardened their skin, their hands, this rhythm of the “vayven” of the carretas, the smell of molasses thick in the air, children playing with tires in the dust, eyes cloudy, ashen from looking at their futures in this same land of the guarjiros, this logic of staying rooted in one region, one place until the forests and fields call you back, a greeting to the land, bohios in the mist of rain, a woman breast-feeding a child on a hammock, a horse passing in the night. The rooster sings to usher in the new day in this land of little change. A lizard catches a fly. A shoe falls into a well and it echoes the sound of laughter. What the distances tell you of how to find your way back now.
Thaw The empty mocking bird nests built into the Y crooks of branches is enough circumstantial evidence. In the spring, after the thaw, the birds found the dead body, plucked hair one strand at a time, lined their twig nests with it. Now the forensics team works under a tent to keep the sun out their eyes. Nobody knows how the corpse came to this place, so near. Only when a white orb of skull showed through the moist dirt and a woman walker mistook it for a budding mushroom, did they find it. An infants body. A crown of trees around it. A decade of under brush it’s blanket. Now the trees are bare again. The child rises To speak its name, yearning for the way home.
When the Word “Balsa” Becomes Art Makeshift is a word the sea loves to swallow a broken raft taking in water a heart filling with bitterness between the sea and sky silence silence too breathes its own vocabulary for those who perish on rafts voiceless during such crossings. Virgil Suarez