But from where did she come? this haolefanciulla dressed in thin, black clothes,
A shawl like a Portuguese grandmother's,
Chinese dancing shoes made for acrobats buckled at the back,
Skin like goat's milk fresh in the pail, and black, black curly hair?
She was a vision like the Mary who gave the virgin birth
He knew from Catholic School, and like the stories people told of Pele,
The goddess testing the mortal by taking human form.
The goddess testing the mortal by taking human formBut she suppose' to be ol' …
Cecilio said within, rising from his battered chair, its wooden legs scraping
Cecilio said within, rising from his battered chair, its wooden legsthe concrete floor,
His breath growing shallower to witness beauty immaculate amidst the mundane.
"My name is Lucia," she said. "I paint island flowers on beach glass. …
I embroider orchid boats on linen seas …"
"My name is Lucia," she said. "I paint island flAnd the midnight half-moon
Rose like a spreading, silver fan floating on the ink-dark ocean of the sky.
Garrett Hongo's new book of poems Coral Roadis forthcoming in fall 2011. He teaches at the University of Oregon.
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