The Wedding of Ramon


What’s too much for him is his bride’s red hair,
Each curl a chili dreaming on its vine.
How her thoughts must sizzle under such a fire.

Ramon is from Cuba. Red hair on an island
Is like plantains in Utah, a volcano in Kansas.
When he reached the middle of the United States,

He kissed her belly and swore off everything un-American.
No prayers like cries or sirens of salsa at his wedding.
Only food on toothpicks and well-rehearsed prayers.

Now there are Vienna sausages and ambrosia salads.
A video camera protrudes from the right eye of each man.
Now tall women carry plans where their hips used to be.

He remembers his mother’s warning: Qué problema
For the woman who lets two do her hair at once.
It tangles the sensibilities, spears the heart with vanity.

In the dressing room, the hands of his new sisters
Sweep and lurch through his bride’s hair
Like bats in a beam of light.

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