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La Coqueta A true flirt, She has so many names. La huesuda, la flaca, La calaca, la hedionda, La tiznada, la fregada, La tía Sebastiana To name only a few.

I know we’re on good terms, That old flirt and me, Esa pelona, cabrona, la desdentada, La mala cara, la bribona, La Reñosa, la harapienta, La chingada, la muerte, Death with all her alluring names.

In the market at Morelia A young man running with a side of beef Bumps into me. The blood smears the back of my shirt. I know that she is flirting again. She’s brushed up against me, Left me a token of her esteem, That bony-faced woman.

Come Bony-Faced Woman, Skinny One, Skull Face, Bald-Headed One, Bitch, Stinking One, Toothless One, Soot-Covered One, Sour Face, Screwed-Up One, Rascal, Grim-Faced Aunt Sebastiana, Ragged One, Dirty One, Fucked-Up One, Come, let us dance On and on together, Always laughing and dancing, We’re two of a kind.

She knows I tried to find amulets With her rictus smile To hang from the rear-view mirror of my car. She knows that at least I tried To stuff her image into a morral But that day she was not in the market. That’s why she smiled at me on the road From Matehuala to San Luis Potosí When the van hydroplaned out of control. Pues no pasó nada. ¡N’hombre! No me digas.

--E.A. Mares The Unicorn Poem & Flowers and Songs of Sorrow (West End Press, 1992)

She smiled again on the road Between Guadalajara and Tepic When I hydroplaned again in the Ford van, Smashed against a guard rail, Went hurtling across the road Into the oncoming headlights. This is it, I thought. This is really it. The oncoming headlights Moved to the right, Then vanished. No collision. Oh, she had a good laugh that time.

Jim Thiele

Profile for Michael Burwell

Cirque, Vol. 6 No. 2  

A Journal for the North Pacific Rim

Cirque, Vol. 6 No. 2  

A Journal for the North Pacific Rim

Profile for burwellm