An excerpt from
"Havana Split"

by Teresa Bevin

Yesterday's Flight

Propelled by whim, my body shoots up like an arrow and pierces the clouds. Then, suspended in their mist, I float, weightless as a soap bubble cradled by warm currents. With my arms turned into wings I look down, feeling unique and powerful, buoyed by a sense of freedom in the infinity of space that fills me with euphoria. My hair stands straight up, blown by a gust of wind that roars in my ears. I blink repeatedly, fighting to keep my eyes open.

The small church in the middle of town emerges as a familiar landmark among the trees in the plaza below. A group of doves fly very close, fanning me with their wings, and I gently glide down. I pause to touch the old roof tiles, deep green with moss, and glance at the tortured bronze face of the crucified Christ on the steeple. Baked by the sun in mid-drip, whitish bird droppings stain the cross. Two golden lizards scurry away, caught while performing a mating dance in the middle of the crown of thorns.

Through an open window, the soft chanting of a lone young priest reaches me. He's sweeping the floor around the altar with bouncing energy. The priest senses my presence and stops both the broom and his chant. He looks out the window, and when his baby blue eyes see me hovering, they widen under long eyelashes that flutter like frightened birds. The broom drops to the floor and the echo bounces off pews and plaster saints. He traces the sign of the cross with a trembling hand and quickly retreats behind Our Lady of Miracles.