Monday, July 31, 2017

La Tormenta at the Lost Souls Café

A poem after the paintings by Gronk

La Tormenta sips a double
Espresso at the Lost Souls Café
Alone on the long, sagging couch,
Listening to the young people
Chatter about art and sex and dogs.

La Tormenta is, of course, young
And rich and beautiful and
Could sit at a fancier café
Surrounded by old men with
Old money, old lies, old desires.

But she does not know who she is,
So La Tormenta continues to sit
In this café off of Spring Street down
An alley where the new loft-dwellers
Come and go, speaking of Michelangelo.

La Tormenta ponders her identity—
Even her name’s origin is hidden
In fog and memories of East L.A.
Memories in black and white, not
The Technicolor of Saint Minnelli.

La Tormenta knows a few things:
She has a secret lover named
Isela Boat, one of the infamous
Boat sisters of La Puente, the ones
Who killed their husbands with love.

La Tormenta smooths her black,
Silk dress; she tugs at the ends of
Her long, elbow-length gloves as
She assumes that her adoring fans are
Trying not to disturb her dark solitude.

And La Tormenta doubts that she will ever
Know if her soul is as beautiful as she feels.

[“La Tormenta at the Lost Souls Café” is featured in the forthcoming Crossing the Border: Collected Poems (Pact Press) which will be released on November 17, 2017.]

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