My muse has fled to Havana.
She’s sitting in some low dive
smoking cigars and drinking rum
and telling Hemmingway lies.
She’s doing a dirty tango
with a sweaty stevedore.
She’s sleeping late and going broke
and thinking of being a whore.
She breakfasts on huevos rancheros
at three in the afternoon,
then snorts a little pick-me-up
from a pitted silver spoon.
She pins a gardenia in her hair,
paints crimson on her lips
and heads out for the cantina again
with a saucy sway to her hips.
Will she come back sad and broken
with venereal disease,
with the face of an old woman
and a nasty case of fleas?
Will I want her if she comes back
bitter, raddled, sour?
Do I want to write the things she’ll learn
in those shady, steamy hours?
My muse has fled to Havana
and wallows in her despair,
her genius mis-spent in a squalid life
with gardenias in her hair.