Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Havana, 1959

To experience more work by this writer, explore her new chapbook DESIGNATION, available now from O:JA&L’s BUTTONHOOK PRESS.

Sherbet in the Sun by Terri Edwards

Havana floated out there beyond the waves that fondled
the sand on Ft. Lauderdale beach. Havana
with its casinos, abortions, black beans and made men.

A girl could take a plane from Miami then but she couldn’t
imagine Varadero from the postcards in Miami airport:
how the neon-painted buildings flashed past spit-shined

pastel cars, the reach of grand hotels, guitar music everywhere.
How could she know about thick coffee with sugar,
about guava and cigars? That year all the Cuba she knew

was immigrant nuns but nothing in her adolescence
had prepared her for the Havana Riviera, a hotel OZ
rising from the ocean or for the men in slick coiffures

who held out their hands. Her passage was desire abandoned,
afterward that half-remembered dream.


About the writer:
Wendy Taylor Carlisle writes in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of three books and five chapbooks. Her book, The Mercy of Traffic, was released in 2019. She has 11 times been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and twice for best of web.

Image: Sherbet in the Sun by Terri Edwards. Acrylic and pastel on canvas. 20 x 20 inches. No completion date specified. By permission.

About the artist:
Terri Edwards is an internationally collected artist, having achieved success initially with her mixed media collages, playing with paper and paint, mark-making and gestural brush strokes. Her recent work has been in intuitive abstract art, but she maintains an interest in her early specialty of realistic mixed-media collages. Edwards’s core belief is that art has the power to transform, uplift, and enlighten.