In South Beach

What’s the point of keeping dracaena
up north? It won’t flower
in a million years;

you’ll never see vulvate buds peel back
to starry composites of puce and silver,
the margins all scarlet.

You’ll never see an Orestes Vega
in jeans embroidered with flowers.

his mother gave him the infamous name
of a mother killer; this Orestes hauls metal
and dances, whistling

up to his girl who keeps him waiting.
Now he is shouting, Rocio. Is she
trying on outfits

to find the most dazzling? In yellow,
I think, yellow to unzip and show
the velvet flower of sex.

You may kneel quite close to Marielitos
sleeping on the beach and see their eyes
move as yours do.

Give them your singles.  So what if they drink.
They eat, too— ropa vieja, platanos

moros y cristianos. If you bite
into a medialuna, powdered
sugar falls like moonlight.

About the author

Miriam Levine is a fan of buses and trains; she loves to gaze at passing scenes and watch fellow passengers, especially on the subway.…

Read the full bio

Issue 16 · October 2012

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