The 26th of July
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I was born on the
twenty sixth day of July
on a warm
night in Havana
in the city of Santo Suárez

My mother said
that the band played
outside when
I was born, celebrating me
and my first breath of air

My father said
that a parade occurred
celebrating me
even when I couldn't see,
talk, sing, listen

And I believed them
Because I simply didn't
know any better
Parades, every year
I liked them a lot.

We were going to
the Capital to
see the parades,
my mother and I, a young one,
without understanding what they were.

But then,
I started school,
and with that, came
the truth that
my parades were not for me.




They were Fidel's.
They were always his
This man with a crafted cult of personality
This man with the unpronounceable name
For fear of the Revolutionary Defense Committee's wrath.

I should've known that
those tanks,
those soldiers,
those banners,
those planes,
those dancers,
those bands,
They were never for me.

That they always belonged to him.
To the man who threw away my family.
All because they received a card marked "U S A"

The man who took our rations and left us with nothing to eat
The man who sent my uncle to prison for the crime of free speech
The man who took over my beautiful island
The man who took away my birthdays.

How it all began with Moncado being attacked.
How he continued to take men and women from their homes.
How it all culminated with his occupation of Cuba.

The more information I learnt, the less I wanted to do with it.

The worst part wasn't knowing they'd all belong to him
The worst part wasn't my friends ridiculing me
The worst part was finding out my parent's lie
And it was all thanks to Fidel.

Si tu pasas por mi casa

and the years have gone
by. Forgiving
my family
was easy.
i live in america.

Y tu vez a mi mujer

the parades in my name haven't been held in years.
not since i was five years old.
i learnt to move on from them.
fond memories, undoubtedly, but that's all they are.

Tu le dice que

Fidel is dead. now i can say his name without being afraid.
my family does not celebrate the 26th of July.
at least, not as the start of the rebellion.

Estoy en Hialeah

where the 26th of july is just my birthday.
nothing else.

Trabajando en factoría

nothing less

Por culpa de Fidel

My name's Jay Everwood and I survived Fidel Castro.

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