PALM TREES by Lucas Baker

Bearded men descend from the mountains

—peasants riding stolen trucks.

Red slogans. Green fatigues.

Rifles thrust into the air

like spears of sugarcane.

Dark throats coated in cigar smoke

chant the songs of struggle.


The streets smell of seasoned lechón

and open bottles of rum.

The Dictator’s gone.

Now the people are free to play

bongos, maracas, and smiles,

caramel legs free to dance Island dances.

They’ve burned the old history books—

No more yanquís, no more Batista.


A man watches from a

penthouse suite in the Hilton.

The wave is coming his way.

He sweats through his white-collared shirt

and phones the concierge

looking for the next flight out.

And the phone keeps ringing

over the knocking at the door.


First published in Mangrove Journal.

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