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Otro Color Más Negro

Lola Beltrán, you’re not the only one.

My grandmother over the table
asks for black tea and more radio

and says she’s been traveling.  At night
her sister and son come to take her

for long, quiet rides through the country.
I sit between them like a baby,

she says, shaking her head
and binding dry her tea bag

like a tiny heart.  She wants
to hear you beg, Lola.

She wants you to wail
as she licks a finger and splits

the Sunday Sears Catalogue,
flipping past rings and Egyptian cotton linens

to show me the tall woman sitting
in an empty pool-colored nightgown.

That one, she yawns, dogearing the page.
That’s the one I want to die in.

Lola, we all want to sing and leave
our skins in the trees like cicadas.