La Tuvería or An Earring’s Lament

By Peg Boyers b. 1952 Peg Boyers
En Cuba tuve
I’m tired of hearing your complaints.
All that whining about el exilio, the tragedy of loss,
In Cuba I had
the catalogue of things, the status, the riches,
the opulence of it all.
I had a mate. We were a pair. Our mistress was young. We
were young. We would dangle on her ear
Concentrate on what you have.
Forget the past.
and go out on the town. Mojitos at La Floridita,
dancing at the Tropicana and later
No, don’t tell me about later.
in the jewel case, an aqua Tiffany box
with white satin interior, we
Tiffany’s? From New York? I didn’t know you—
would lie together in the pillowy luxury,
my ruby top layer and his aligned, our bases
Please you needn’t—
touching, my diamond waist and his forming a continuous
line. Sometimes we would switch backs, I’d push
I understand that in communities of exile
the population
my piercing needle through his back, his
through mine. That’s
tends to lose ground politically as
assimilation takes place, that
how I liked it best, a little harsh, but sweet.
Tu y yo, you and I, is what she called us because our very
longing is a constitutive ingredient
of not only the condition of exile but—
body parts were paired, he and I, forming a single unit, an I and a
thou. Apart
Surely you have adjusted. Look, you’re mounted on a ring, you
are independent, and prized. Very attractive for your age, I might add.
we are nothing. Longing doesn’t quite—
One adapts?
As to an amputation.
And La Revolución?
Don’t make me vomit.

Peg Boyers, "La Tuveria or An Earring’s Lament" from Honey with Tobacco. Copyright © 2007 by Peg Boyers.  Reprinted by permission of The University of Chicago Press.

Source: Honey with Tobacco (The University of Chicago Press, 2007)

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Poet Peg Boyers b. 1952

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, The Body, The Mind, Love, Heartache & Loss, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Poetic Terms Persona

 Peg  Boyers


Poet Peg Boyers was born in San Tomé, Venezuela, but spent her childhood on the move, living in such countries as Libya, Italy, Indonesia, and Cuba. She earned her BA from Skidmore College. Her collections of poetry are Hard Bread (2002), Honey with Tobacco (2007), and To Forget Venice (2014). Hard Bread contains a series of poems written in the voice of Natalia Ginzburg (1916–1991), an Italian writer, editor, and mother who . . .

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SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind, Love, Heartache & Loss, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Persona

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