For Commander of the Revolution, Juan Almeida Bosque, born Feb. 1927 — died Sept. 2009

Poem by Larry Hales, NYC FIST

May your bones

rest now comrade.

May they mingle

with the remains of

José Martí

and Antonio Maceo,

the other Bronze Titan,

whose shadow

leans its elbow

against Pico Turquino,

waiting patiently

for any invader

who dare arrive

upon the shores of Cuba.

May the years pass

with the dust of

the osseous matter,

as it falls into

your coffin, whispering

to the remains of

Ernesto Che Guevara,

he entombed in Santa Clara.

May we to the north,

our ancestors the same

muted ghosts,

our language bled

from our fore mothers by

the lash, the wounds

viscid and infected,

remember always

your sacrifice,

as an example,

your Africaness

shining Black

like Malcolm’s,

your Cubaness victorious.

May we share the victory?

May we look to the crossing,

that travail across

the Gulf and the Caribbean Sea,

borne on the back

of a feeble old woman,

the moans of the remains

of slaves the swells

rising and crashing

beneath you.

May we share

the experiences of the landing.

We can hear the dull pings

of empty magazines,

the sound of metal against

tree trunks, the heavy breaths,

the cries of dying men,

the buzzing of bullets —

they must have been

like lethal flies grazing your ears.

May we mourn you comrade,

flying our not woven

flag at half mast,

singing in remembrance

a pale anthem haunting

our resolve as

the martyrs we’ve

not yet lost.

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