Maria Pascualy is a poetry scribbler in Tacoma, WA. Her first writing class was at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio and she presently works as an editor on a history journal.

A Prose Poem

By Maria Pascualy


A cigarette dangles from your lip as you bitch about the smog.
It is late October. Day one of five nights in Mexico City and Oaxaca.
It feels hot. I hail a cab outside the airport as you stand next to me and complain.
I thank god you are so good looking— I love that mouth.


Later, at a market outside of Oaxaca you insist
on taking a photo of the Indian family eating lunch
under a tree. The father tosses a banana peel
at your face and makes you stop. We walk away.
You say you got one good shot. I wonder if we will make it.


We liked the food. We loved the people. We agreed
the Diego Rivera murals were amazing. No wonder Frida
stayed married to the bum! That last day, we splurge
and eat breakfast at the fancy place full of well­dressed Mexican capitalists.
We are embarrassingly under­dressed but the hostess seats us anyway.
You place your Velcro wallet full of dollars on the table and say:
This completes the picture of the Ugly Americans, and we both crack up.
You squeeze a wedge of lime on your soft­boiled egg the way the lady
at the pensión showed us. I ask for cereal, milk and a banana.


We never go back to Mexico. We stay together
five more years.You eventually give up smoking
and I give up on you. I don’t look back
at the house as I drive off, a bit blinded by the slanted golden light
that 28th day of October.  I have what I need in the car.
Later, as I sign a check for the groceries, my hand shakes.
I look down and I cannot recognize my name.