Spring 2005 • Vol. XXVII No. 2 Poetry |


I got up early, winked at the wife, went out and chopped a load of wood. I set the smoker on its pins and went to work. This was   before I left for the airport. I thought how bottomless that puddle looked and shivered. You know how it is,   early, about 5 A.M., in downtown Havana, before even the bums are awake? Well it wasn't like that. I got some friendly advice   off the radio and went back in to dress. The day looked like something being inflated.   I found a picture in my mind of boys rushing across the street to catch a glimpse of a celebrity. Some-   one it would be in my best interest to know. But then I remembered the smoker and got the meat out of the fridge. "Honey," I called   to the old gal, who wouldn't be up for hours, "remember to take the brisket off," and then I finished up and walked to the bus stop.   It is out of a morning such as this, filled with intricate purple brushings in the East, that Judgment Day will come.

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Charlie Smith has written five New York Times Notable Books and has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

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