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(extract from Havana by Jeff Rehab)

In the intoxication of your breath
between the acrid fumes
of insecticides and 1957 Chevy's
stepping past the dark grime of your slums
streets plush with tight round bodies
beautiful and sensuously swaying
snaking past the converted palaces
con las turistas ricos
and the buy-me-a-dress-and-a-ring whores
with their enchanting full-tooth smiles
and undulating earthquake-tremor hips
I hear your beat
the machine-gun laughter of your feet
on the hot cobblestones
with the jinateros and street musicians

Havana, I smell your heat
under salty faded sheets
smell the long, tobacco-stained nights
with your hips swaying
to the pale drops of rum
spilt from red lips
and the red drops of blood
spilt from your revolutionaries
spilt from the gorging of Machado and Baptista
and 500 years of foreign dominion



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