A Sestina: Rum Dreams
The tide revealed more beach
than I’d ever seen. Dark brimming
waves drinking in sand, and a black
mood of clouds shrouding tears
and chunks of sky. Gusts taking
to air our towels. Umbrellas. We two
women clamped our knuckled two
hands on our straw hats. The beach
emptied. Holiday-makers ran, taking
shelter in huts roofed with straw brims.
A lifeguard watched a water spout tear
toward him. Bounced, poured black
water from the sky, a spin of black-
ness, dark as a mid-winter night at two
when the world’s asleep. Light tearing
through the roof, sand from the beach
pelting at the straw as the roof’s brim
rises and lifts, and the wind takes
possession of our hut. Steals it. Takes
it back, and then dresses it in black.
I hear screams, and I grab at the brim
of my hat. We huddle together, we two
boney-knuckled women from the beach.
A wind howls as dark clouds of tears
empty rain on our heads. A rip, a tear,
and palms falls to the ground. It takes
a minute, maybe two, or ten, for the beach
to settle back into sand, the sky pitch black
to settle back into light, and for our two
hats to float out to sea. Ribboned brims,
spinning and hugging each wave’s brim.
Hats off with the fishes, we shed not a tear.
And it’s 2:00. Today’s 2nd February, 2002.
Not that anyone here believes or takes
notice of omens or prophecies or black
magic. Not here on Cuba’s Varadero Beach.
It was a lazy day in Cuba on Varadero Beach
when my afternoon nap tore fright as a black
rum dream. And so, one more rum I did take.