Sunday, April 12, 2009

Summit of the Americas

A China-Cuba fable: different palms and, yet, the same

Elephants in the Room

When did the Great Wall slip
into our dining room? Perhaps an Italian's
journey to the Emperor's court thirsting

the art of papermaking, a British eye
for fine teacups and dinnerware—
cheap-in-Wal-Mart, or not, in Staples

forget the Long March, manufactured hunger
in the Cultural Revolution. It is too late.
Tanks snake on caked red and separated flesh

in Tiananmen Square the cleaners scrubbed
all night: the new proletariat cheering their first
astronaut in space. No elections in 100 years

or was that 1000? From panty to scissors
clipping private hair—made in C-thanks
the boys in Havana brandish hand-me-downs

Stalin era Kalashnikovs and tanks running
on water. An arrow in his throat or thigh
Ponce lay dying in Havana the cigar "rogue"

can't lift a wiry beard. Turning his tail
to the tiger, Jumbo swats a flea with his trunk
and takes off for Trinidad. In his quest

for El Dorado, Raleigh landed near Piarco
according to fables penned in the tower
before the executioner blind men from states

in the Americas line up in Port-of-Spain
to feel the trunk of an elephant—
a golden arch, Sir Walter's untouchable

not like Clinton in Miami—I'm smarter—
an Americas Summit with Cuba in abstentia!
I bring you change from DC—all that's left

From the billions to Wall Street
We are not Islam's enemy, we are Havana's
We are not China's enemy, we are Cuba's

© Sasenarine Persaud