The Palacio de la Salsa thrums,
spilling light and loud tourists from its
guts in vomitous tides that reek of
rum and sweat. Tropical tans in designer
clothes flood the Vedado.
Two doors down, strategic between the
Riviera and Ache, stand tight knots of
laughing jineteras. A damp chill blows off
the Malecon, kissing bare shoulders
until nipples pucker in response.
They wear tight lycra of bright colors,
high heels and seductive perfumes proclaim
their politics. Carnets clutched in beaded bags,
eyes slide sideways, searching for
the special brigades in every corner.
Everything is illegal, but it is all still done.
They flirt in tongues; Italian, American, French;
ready to dominate the beast for mojitas
and the promise of U.S. dollars. Drunk extranjeros
trade gifts for a taste of mulatto skin.
Colon cemetery is full of the weary dead,
fodder for the sustenance of a hungry nation.
The jineteras don't want to be Che, sacrifice nothing
as a price for honor. Rehabilitation vacations,
Villa Delicia never buried anyone in fertile earth.
So they stand in swaying groups along Melia Cohiba,
educated women of Cuba, and feed their babies
with forbidden fruit. They shake defiant asses to
the driving salsa beat, and pluck the guilty from
the palace gates like cutting cane.