The Cienfuegos Cigar Company

The foreman takes a long slow drag
filling his mouth

smoke filling his head
prayers climb the ladder of his cigar smoke

He sits in a tall chair reading novellas to women who sit and roll cigars
his cigar burns red

Cuba burns in her jungles
  her beds are full of fire
    her women forged in furnaces

The women’s fingers are golden from the tobacco leaves
  hands and fingers moving like sudden storms across the Caribbean

   An old man told me,

         “You want a girl who works in a cigar factory, Cuba burns
                 upon their breasts.”

Flames rising and falling in breaths
   sweat like rain falling into lush valleys
     their dresses parted

legs brown like earth reaching out
                           against blue tile floors

The storms move closer

        a veil covers Cuba
                      and only the man can be heard reading.


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