Virgil Suarez

September 18, 2012


There’s the lure of antique cars
that brings me out to my garage
past midnight, when everyone

is sound asleep, and I open the door
to my ‘55 Chevy, fully restored,
and I sit behind the steering wheel,

one hand on the horn rim, the other
on the new leather seats. I feel
heat at my feet, the smell

of fresh paint, golden oil filled block,
viscous humidity and gas. Wink
of all the dashboard trim. Born again,

I say, this feeling of childhood,
in the back of such a car, in Cuba,
traversing Old Havana, my parents

young again, out for a ride—then
I think it’s all a lie, this is not my life,
nor my car. I must have made it up,

this Matador red, India ivory Chevy,
it’s lights coming on in all the dark-
ness, a house stirring awake.

I turn on the radio and get CMQ,
Cuba’s music station, a guaguancó
with Benny Moré crooning . . . Morning

snuck up on me dreaming, burning
down a long, dusty road of myth-making.
A driver’s moon carousing for the kill.

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