poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bear Dance

Horses can smell woodsmoke, can hear your heartbeat,
blood persistently sets the pace,
and some animals have always lived with people. Call the dogs in,
tonight the bears will dance.

Blood persistently sets the pace
for the new year. Fewer bats than last year, dear blind bats.
Tonight the bears will dance,
to the music they’ve wrung from the seasons, like children singing carols

for the new year.  Fewer bats than last year, dear blind bats.
At midnight the bears make a circle, coordinating swipes and steps
to the music they’ve wrung from the seasons, like children singing carols.
Forgetfulness the fruit. We drink the champagne of amnesia at midnight.

Horses can smell woodsmoke, can hear your heartbeat,
and some people have always lived with animals. Call the dogs in.


Always praying to God to get her Cuba back. I thank her, every single day I, thank
her in blades of grass. She asks if going crazy feels like tripping.
I say it’s more of a feeling that you’re in The Matrix. Movies like that are thieves,
she says. “Doesn’t mean that much to me to mean that much to you,” he tells
us, filling the café with simple music, easy to ignore, we’ve all heard this tune
before; we favor our private dramas. They become the irrational truth.

Have a bite. Oh sugar. Love it, but it’s killing me. That sweet taste isn’t wholesome truth
and this muzak is bad for you. That jolt of sugary electricity. Reanimates me, thank
you. The music stops. “Play Freebird!” Abuela yells. The tune
matters; she’s got a limited number left. Her days of tripping
are over. She can’t put on her own socks anymore. That tells
the whole story. Soon she’ll see them in hell: Castro, and all his thieves.

Forget being wealthy. Wealth is for common thieves.
They took my Cuba. Love is always fighting. There’s truth
in that, in the sympathy, the same stories she tells
over: I wore these pearls in my ears on the plane to America. I thank
her. Wear them at your wedding. I’ve been first and last. You’ll have more trips.
I want you to shoot their planes out of the sky. Change the tune.

Now, this is your Cuba: you’re young, in love. Recognize the tune?
Even better for your children; teach them to be the thieves,
to wear badges on their sleeves. It’s not a fall, merely a trip
or a skip of the record. Always be able to think your way out to truth.
As long as you can swim you’ll be free. No need to speak, save to thank
God. Yes, I’m still sane. My whole life I’ve told

your America that he made a monster of me. Tell
them when I am gone. Squeak it like you’ve gone out of tune
when they torture you for it, give them thanks
and praise. I need some thief
to love me the whole day through. One look in my eyes and you can tell that's true.
You’re a lot like I was. You’ve only gone the first steps of this trip

so far. Live alone in a paradise. This song was made for you. Trippy.
At least I didn’t spend my youth staring at screens. I danced. Tell
me what a computer can do that I can’t. I want the truth.
Neither of us can put on socks. Can you computer get Cuba back? To the tune
of now? I lost my husband, my country and you’ve grown up. Nature is thieving.
Give me things that won’t get lost. More coffee? No thanks.

Know this is your Cuba. Right now. Young and in love. You can thank
me when I’m dead. I danced down Babylon once. Politics can thieve
home and land. New York too; run around the same old town: bland, slow, tuneless.