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El yuma moderno // The modern tourist by ANA RODRIGUEZ MACHADO

Ana Rodriguez Machado is a Toronto-based poet.

El yuma moderno // The modern tourist

Where did you stay?

—A house in beautiful:


Oh, and the beach, I couldn’t wait to go back!

Did they make you feel welcome?

—Cafecito con leche

Pan from la shopping

Very professional

Would go again

Did they show you the city?

—Yes, of course,

the knowledge of locals

is invaluable

And the bedrooms? Living area?

—Highly recommended

Wicker chairs

and the interior design,

my goodness,

I never thought the third world

lived like this

Makes me wonder why they ever leave!

(My love, what would you say if you heard this?

—Well everyone’s entitled

to their opinion

What is truth if

not someone’s interpretation)

And did the owners stay with you?

—They did, though we did not dare

look in their room

Caught my daughter sneaking in once

She’s only two

She was curious

What did you see?

—A modest room, no windows, Murphy bed

small electric stove, a bag of bread,

papers in stacks, glass of water precarious on top

But they seem happy

I’ve always admired

the resourcefulness of Cuban people

Never saw them without a smile on their face

We left some money

and a drawer full of toiletries

we only used for a week

They were so grateful

You should have seen their faces

How happy you can make someone with so little

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