The town was perpetual summer,
dandelions adrift on the breeze,
dew gathering on the skin of fruits,
their meat succulent, and the smell
of burnt cashews lingers in the air,
and the river—forever flowing somewhere,
coursing like a comb through a woman’s hair
The women parade through the center of town,
their heels always lifting off the sandy ground,
they wear a rainbow of blooming skirts,
their last names signifying their worth
and the foreheads of men that courted them shone
in the afternoon sun, their pomades never faded.
The booths in the marketplace always flapped open.
A shipment of sailors came through the town,
as if a curse, one impending hurricane, they blew
one by one through the delis and the pool halls.
They landed their shiny boots on the land,
and the dirt caked around clung.
Then after, the numerous wailing guests,
the food, the belly wherein the child resides,
cloth napkins and long lacy veils.
She was never ruined, simply rueful.
It never happened that way, or it did,
and all was changed at seventeen.
A soundtrack of silence—
A family sits down to dinner,
silverware completed with
a mother, and a father.
It is different to daughters who have loved a father,
sons birthed one after the other, with perfect wonder
they will never resist the heroic memory of a sailor
held captivated by beauty at a fair one night.