Du Monde | Jose Oseguera | The Piltdown Review

Du Monde

Du Monde

“Who won?” Mom texted.

Mexico was playing Brazil

In the World Cup’s last of 16.

I didn’t have the heart to reply.

Why didn’t she take his hand,

The guy from São Paulo

She often spoke about—

As we commiserated with Cinderella on VHS

In our one-bedroom apartment,

Too little even for two,

Waiting, hungry, sleepy,

Aged 28, 6, 7, and 9 at 10:36pm,

For the man she married

To finally become Prince Charming—

The one whom she told

She didn’t like to dance

Even though she wanted to kiss him

And described his nose, jaw, and eyebrows

So well that my eyes grew misty

Breathing the spiced rum in his breath,

Smelling the musk beating on his chest?

That night, she tapped her feet

Alone at the party,

And under her silk sheets

Wiggling her toes warm.

Instead, she fell for a man

From her native Mexico—

His brown skin, thin body,

And honeyed-milk promises—

Before he made it a habit of

Stealing her car

And leaving their kids at school

Until the janitors gave them quarters

To buy chips and soda

And kicked them out

Into the street to eat on the sidewalk;

The curb as their table.

Again, the text’s insisting buzz

To let her down by proxy,

“Brazil,” I replied.

A phantom ellipsis palpitated incessantly

For five minutes.

I checked back after 45:

She hadn’t replied.  

2018 Fall/Winter Fiction Contest—First Prize $500



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