Mexican Wedding Cake
Carlos puts the .45 automatic in the glove box, then waves as he pulls away from the Morelia cathedral in his 1957 Desoto sedan. for the banditos! he says, just married. Dolores of the river sits on his lap, head veil flowing. the rear window plastered “amor de corazon” in lime paint, they drive off to lake Patzcuaro swerving left for the little white fish and their love, as the fireworks castle ignites, and everyone eats hand-machine-peeled oranges.
Watching a play, Miguel reflects, it is watching a play, but not the Cherry Orchard. Chekhov hides the bandits, and the women are old, old maids, or married already. the violence is the purse not the pistol, testaments from a house servant. estates to be protected, land not wives. peasants starved, but not enough. the manse to be sold, the servants to go, the orchard cut down for development.
Whack! whack! whack! ax felling cherry trees. who will nurture the land? who serve the tea?
Lorca? what has he to do with this?
He wants to speak.
Green. green. green. verde, verde, como te quiero verde. the land must be saved. it is dry, always dry, lost Spanish land, before and after the conquistadores. feed the land, if nothing else feed the land, it must be green.
My little piece of earth, already it has shade and birds, it carries the green on its shoulders, in high wind and low…
There are no bandits anymore, the brides are for nothing, and the servants have gone. but the earth still wants manure.
Mike Lewis-Beck writes from Iowa City. He has pieces in American Journal of Poetry, Alexandria Quarterly, Apalachee Review, Big Windows Review, Blue Collar Review, Cortland Review, Chariton Review, Guesthouse, Heavy Feather Review, Pure Slush, and Wapsipinicon Almanac, among other venues. He has a book of poems, Rural Routes, with Alexandria Quarterly Press.