Saints, Marriage: Out

by Celeste Guzman Mendoza

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The bed was burdened during the evening beating. Headboard rattling.
Streams of rosaries and scapulas strung around the bedposts. Saints,
dangling charms to ward off the evil eye and bad spirits. They peered
up from silver, gold and plastic beads, catching the braided leather belt.


Marriage: Out

Earlier at 4 p.m., lilies hung low from the plastic
arbor set up by the BBQ pit and iced tea station.
Pristine before the storm, the band and beer.

Now it’s midnight. The bride’s drunk.

Her bridesmaid lifts her dress in an open stall
of this hick bathroom. Billows of taffeta stained
with rain, mud and who-knows-what-else. To top
it off, she’s barefoot too.

The groom doesn’t notice her hem’s fallen
out on the floor and is taking up more dirt
from the bathroom to the bar.

She’s wandered out of earshot when he turns
to me and says, “A bit drunk and pregnant,
but cute.” By then she’s thrown up cole slaw,
and potato salad over the floured down dance floor
and passed out. Her face a white poof.

Celeste Guzman Mendoza is a native of San Antonio, Texas. Her work has been published in 5 a.m., Borderlands,  Salamander,  Poet Lore,  and in anthologies such as Telling Tongues: A Latino Anthology on Language Experience (Calaca Press),  Red Boots and Attitude (Eakin Press), and Floricanto Si!:An Anthology of Latina Poetry (Penguin). She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two cats.

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