Looks Like Chernobyl

Old structures by the sea are beaten down into broken pieces of concrete and tarnished walls. Fires raged, leaving their mark throughout the infrastructure of this hydroelectric plant. Everything back home feels like buildings decapitated of their souls. The comandante and his delivered promises of success lacked derision at first, while all were brainwashed with the hopes of days yet to come for a freer Cuba. Lies rotting out of the eyes of the politicians, one of my grandfathers lied too—after falling into the trap of a skewed version of equality. Little did they know they should have looked towards equity, maybe then our homes and workspaces would still breathe life into our people.

Overgrown with grass creeping over cement walls, our buildings decompose like the living beings that performed their lives’ work within them. Steam stacks don’t spew steam anymore, but the invisible souls of my people float onward, upward, towards a heaven of blue skies and turquoise oceans that wail against the rocks separating our buildings from it. My people have drowned in that ocean as they try to escape crumbling structures like the Cuban government, once and always full of corruption and disguises. Old TV screens are housed in each building because at least all people deserve a TV, better to brainwash them with.

One day the fifth floor will destroy the fourth and the only way to go from there will be down… and down will my people go. Down will fall my soul with every cracking piece of wall like the breaking heart encased within my ribs. I’ll just sit here across the ocean staring at Jupiter’s raging storm in my coffee as I ponder origins and family trees nonexistent, forever forgotten in history like the structures I speak of.

Image by V. Ariosa taken in Santa Cruz del Norte, Provincia Mayabeque (previously part of Provincia Habana). Electric Plant.

Image by V. Ariosa taken in Santa Cruz del Norte, Provincia Mayabeque (previously part of Provincia Habana). Electric Plant.

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TV Screen Static

Her vision blurs and white noise creeps over her eyes. Her viewpoint is static…chhhhhzzzz… Patterned surfaces are too vivid with screams so loud they inundate her ears with the color of yellow. She’s too clear up in her head and she’s about to devour the atmosphere with one big gulp that will leave everything surrounding her breathless. Her head is a staticky TV screen with that sound of sirens moving too quickly to be discerned as so. Every color is so vivid and she wonders what drug the world prescribed today as she struggles to climb over the cliff edge called her senses. When the sounds get too loud, the silence is white noise inside her head. Like a monitor with an unsteady connection she fades in and out of gray, white, and black dots moving quickly like the atoms she feels in each fingertip. The electricity has her wired to the metals close by and she can’t disentangle her hair from the cables administering static shock. Tingly sensation and like a toy that just short-circuited, her mind’s gone.