Blas Rivas

by Sally Arango Renata
SC Writers Workshop
Honorable Mention, April 2007
Judged by Bryan Appleyard


Blas Rivas wanted to die on Socialist soil.

I heard him say it twice, once on a bus to Cienfuegos
and again days later as he lay dying from a blood clot
exploding in his brain.

I say nothing. It is a quiet pronouncement, an inward ken
requiring not even a delayed response.

Humidity veils the window, blurring shades of red, blue,
hues of skin with the green of sugar cane.

Workers turn to wave and smile, an interlude necesario,
the essence of custom and fecundity in Cuba

the island that rests like a smiling dragon
just beyond the chalice of Miami.



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