Mudlark Flash No. 53 (2010)
I wanted to be moved by the Mexicans. I was. I left
90% tips to waiters who were caricatures, 
short accommodating men in white uniforms so sheer
I saw the shape of their underwear. I handed a bag
of Hershey Kisses to the seven-year-old hauling 
my luggage out of the orange taxi at dawn. I saw the way
he hid them under his shirt. I noticed the resemblance
his chest bore to my adolescent brother’s concaved chest,
& thought of my brother asleep, the Playboy Channel on
with the volume off, you smiling on the cover
of the Hustler under the bed, & above his bedroom,
the satellite dish like a cup
held to a door of night sky.
                                                  If you could see this postcard
of Ixtapa, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, you’d think
this strip of hotels looks like California. The trim hedges
would remind you of the Golden Hills Motel, the slipped
silence of Mrs. Moore who lived at the front desk, the keys
on wooden paddles she handed you
whenever yours were lost.
                                                 You should have seen the disco
in the hotel that looks like a Mayan pyramid, music videos
of Michael Jackson & Madonna projected on
mirrored walls. I danced under the spotlight,
facing shadows drinking Corona, the men watching
an American girl. I arched my back. You would understand,
being twenty then when you had no cocaine, & no place to go
but the closet, where you untangled the rifle barrel
from the plastic covering your dresses, your brain
blooming on the bedroom wall... & me being
twenty now, both fatherless
in our way.
                      I dreamed mine left my mother & me
in a motel in Tecate for a trip to L.A., yours,
(I heard him say in the interview) ran his home
“like a business.” He was sorry & he believed
it wasn’t his fault. Maybe it wasn’t. Still,
we could take Freud on roughly
the same field trip, sit on the bus demurely
at each arm, begin to talk, 
press our breasts into his black coat. In the dark
hair below his lips our tongues would touch.
                                                                                  Now I dream
of your blond hair, the video close-ups of your lips.
I even bought a French brand of red lipstick (duty free)
at the airport in Mexico City. I stood
with my hand off the rail on a height of stone
steps & imagined you, hesitating 
the way I always hesitate before descending, waiting
for that rush of hands to your back, that on impact
look like small dark wings to someone who watches.

Nicole Broadhurst’s work can be found in Vox, Drunken Boat, The Caribbean Writer, Mangrove, Kennesaw Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, The Miami Herald’s now-defunct Tropic Magazine, Poet Lore, and Visions- International, et cetera. She has won of the Eve of St. Agnes Poetry Award from Negative Capability.

Copyright © Mudlark 2010
Mudlark Flashes | Home Page