Joel Sloman


		Nina Bonita 
			beautiful child 
	young F1 calves 
					and infant Holsteins
			grazing in experimental pasture 
						or mooing expectantly 
					for their 8 quart diet 
							hoofs wading through shallow 
										blue concrete pool 
		secretly protecting them from fungus 
			mothers in air-conditioned barns 
						green clover-like food 
									in piles before them 
		water fountain two can share 
					We walk between two facing rows 
patting damp dog-noses that sniff and shy away 
	then pass them in the rear 
			a girl bends down to tie her shoelace
					and green grassy turds 
flow luxuriantly through muscular opening 
							with nonchalance 
				"What did I do wrong?" 
		buses take us to plots of experimental pasture 
then across road to mini-reservoir 
					where Henry tries to balance himself 
						on palm trunk 
					floating by pond plants and small fishes 
			and falls in with his pants on 
finally we go to newly constructed prefabricated homes 
							for farm workers 
					almost everything is free 
						a Cuban explains 
				as shutters creak with eerie freshness 
										we visit workers and children 
					play in playground 
			look through homes 
					"This is better than the place I live in!" 
elsewhere beer and sandwiches 
				under mango trees 
						near coffee plants then 
					travelling back to camp 
			through Miramar embassy mansions 
					filled with scholarship students 
				along Havana shore 
						reading Whitman 
thinking about one woman or another 
				I met here 
		silence returning 
						the expressions on their faces
								Nina Bonita 
		"You must remember 
					nothing like this 
								ever existed in Cuba
											before the revolution"

Boston 1999 Index