Where did you get those eyes Senor?
Those pools where mermaids lure angels
to swim.

You sway
with the languid sugarcane fields,
yet stand tall, solid,
like the barnacled sea wall
which keeps Mother Havana from crumbling
into a lost Atlantis.

And where did you find your voice cariño?
Singing of time forgotten,
bathing me like a rum punch sunset
bathes slumping tenements.

Bearing hibiscus at a punctual twilight
your eyes speak solely to your altar for Lazarus
but your song…

¡Ay!… your song,
two-times with Maria
who mambos solo
with a wilted gardenia behind her ear

copyright 1998 Jennifer Brinn