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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