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This poem is taken from PN Review 196, Volume 37 Number 2, November - December 2010.

Two Poems (editor's note: Yusef Komunyakaa was originally mispelt in PNR196 as Yusef Komunyakka) Yusef Komunyakaa


The neighbour’s mask of Torquemada
says, I accuse you of whistling the radio’s
aloneness a long ways from Miami.
I press a drinking glass to the wall
between us, but you’re reading Rimbaud
& other romantics of the secret handshake
& sceptre stealing the light of Havana.
You sit there as if you’re the last living heir
of a mob boss, swearing you can’t hear cries
from Guantanamo Bay, only a lost seagull
calling at dusk. Now, say all you know
about sweat & bedlam in the canefields,
how colour works here. Trees are my eyes & ears,
& they accuse you of dangerousness, of laughing
at Che’s ghost in the old Cathedral Square.

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