BAR DOS HERMANOS Pa’ Siempre: Cuba Poems John Brandi Sip a mojito in the bar across from the customs house and remember Federico García Lorca. His culture was in his veins. He saw though doctrine, let surprise open into desire, sought the spark beneath the obvious, found his own symbols to make the world new. Verde que te quiero verde! Trees begin to sway, dance halls fill, the chapel does a cha cha cha. Ladies’ fans open with musk, lemon drifts from the black capes of their suitors. Lorca sat in this tavern once, calling up the smooth-grained labia of calla lilies carved around La Dolorosa on her altar —how they roused the Duende from his blood, how the lacquered fish became a compass of light around her face. He divided the glare of the sea through the saloon-door slats into stanzas, one for each river of a street he walked to meet the luminous boats in the harbor, the carnal tide, aroma of struggle, quick whisper of sorrow. ©2016 John Brandi