Little Havana, Miami

The Grass is Never Greener, Vinnie Hagar

To the children of Operation Pedro Pan

They did not sail above sandy shores dripping salt.
Their banners and flags grappled onto their simmered clothes
like bodies scrambling for spines.
It was January of 1962. 

Fourteen-thousand slept on wings
that sliced through orange clouds.
Swollen eyes like mangos, nostalgic
for abuela’s kisses.

We remember the dawns of our people.
Wet-footed and clumsy in the quivering current,
we remember how easily bodies of flesh resemble horizons,
breaching the elbowed air with splintered breaths,
limbs like cornered colors, inching to bear weight against the sky.

We remember life as seekers:
of substance,
with stubborn shadows outlined
in plumes of cigar smoke, beady and unashamed;

of pleasure,
with croqueta-stained teeth and merengue-swayed hips;
of faith,
with gritty rosaries and copy-paper saints splayed across our dashboards;

of praise,
with a work ethic that even Castro cannot cage.
Our people pace Calle Ocho as though stamped
into the colonial walls of El Caiman.

Our people
continue to search for their homes
within these walls.
And yet, it is  not this shoreline 

that draws our aching limbs in, scratching
for mercy and chartered air,
but those slanted voices
curling calmly above quick tongues,

Saying, “Here.
Take my hand.”

About the Author

Rhiana (Rhi) Suarez · University of Floria

Rhiana (Rhi) Suarez is a sophomore Psychology major at the University of Florida. “Little Havana, Miami” first appeared in TEA Literary Magazine.

About the Artist

Vinnie Hagar · Anne Arundel Community College

Vincente “Vinnie” Hagar graduated from Anne Arundel Community College in 2017 with an Associates Degree in Art-Visual Design. “The Grass is Never Greener” first appeared in Amaranth. More of his work can be found on Instagram @vinniehager.

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