WILLIAM “NEZ” NESBITT

Issue Two

I DREAM OF CUBA

If I lived here, the first thing I would do is remove my watch and throw it off a cliff.  Let time slip from this wrist.  Rejoin earth and air.  Have the sun let me know what to do and obey only the seasons.  Nothing else.  No calendar.  No religion.  No clock.  Here I will study the ceremonies of sunflowers and chant mantras to the dirt with the great congregations of sugar cane.  Become a disciple of ripe mangos.  As full as the ocean, as empty as the sky.  The moon, a glowing clock face with neither hands nor numbers.  Time is a dictator I will finally overthrow.  The eyes of power will close once and for all.  I see the sun through kites of s*h*a*t*t*e*r*e*d glass.

Drinking rum on the rooftops of Cuba.  Looks like rain to the left.  But the rain never came.  (So many thirsty for what water cannot quench).  I think about the stones of the mountain and the stones of the sea, the first jagged, rough, and the second worn smooth with water.  A Ferris wheel rusts in the distance.  Symbol of the revolution.  The wheel of fortune.  Nothing is moving.  Revolutions.  Every revolution is a one-way trip.  When we leave the gardens, I am the last one out.  I hear something buzzing, look back, and see one hummingbird and then more.  Now that we are leaving, they are returning home.  Who and what you miss while in Cuba tells you what you need to know.  Oh, for it to be night and to be drunk with youth forever.  The stars.  The stars.

I don’t want sleep yet.  I enter the lobby and a night watchman sits just outside the front double doors in a lobby chair at Hotel Pernik in Holguín.  A few feet away, another empty lobby chair.  I ask him if I may sit down.  He says, “Si, Si” and stretches out his arm to welcome me.  Sitting with Miguel just outside the doors at 2:55 A.M. in the cool Cuban breeze.  Just the sound of crickets and roosters.  The night is long and lonely, even for the stones and pine trees.  This is the secret life of all things.  Time is asleep.  There is no final answer to the final question.  He and I try to talk, but in the cricket’s court there is only the unspeakable language of Night.  Kosmic oligarchy.  He leaves and I remain.  Entropy.  I am either the last lord of time or an exile en(throned/tombed) in the palace of white skunks. 

Horses in my dreams.  Wild horses with manes of flame and hooves of smoke snapping and cracking like burning banyan, stampeding down mountainsides.  They trample through tall fields of sugar cane at dusk. 

I wake up this morning in love with my life and everything in it.  There is only one life and it is this one.  So what if it doesn’t last?  Everything returns.

About William "Nez" Nesbitt
William “Nez” Nesbitt has published reviews, interviews, creative writing, and critical articles in journals such as Aji, Nobody’s Home: Modern Southern Folklore, level:deepsouth, Manzano Mountain Review, Beatdom, Popular Culture Review, Route 7 Review, and Southeast Review. His most current book is Forsaken: The Making and Aftermath of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four.