Nedra Rogers is a runner up in Marlboro Review Prize in Poetry for her poem, "Dos Pesos" selected by Chase Twichell

Dos Pesos

Nedra Rogers

At the edge of an ocean, I am riding a white horse.
I would not believe this, but to be so warm,
a horse must be real, which leads me to believe
that anything might be possible
in Playa lo de Marco, that dark-eyed Diego
leaning there against the palm is whispering
How beautiful is the gringa on the white horse,
and Pablo in the fishing boat
drops his net and turns his brown shoulders
away from the sea for a glance.

When my hour is up, when my horse gallops off
with another, I don't care. Alejandro's guitar
shimmers in the sun. I drift above the ocean
on the white cloud of his song—above the palapas
and the little wet dogs, above the bright umbrellas.
How sweet are words, half understood.
Something about a small bird. Something about
a mountain. Something about his heart. I think

I'll let Fernando weave my hair forever,
let Simon squeeze lima on my marlin-on-a-stick.
Berto can serve me pina scooped out and filled
again with papaya and mango, and why not
try all the cervesas: Corona, Dos Equis, Pacifico?
Why not become more beautiful
with every swallow, so when I stand

in line outside the public restroom, I notice
that of the dozen gringas in their dozen
pairs of flip flops, my feet are the most beautiful.
Even Eduardo, vendedor of toilet paper,
who has set up shop here outside the restroom door,
notices and beckons. Un peso,
he whispers, un peso for the regular.
Dos pesos for the soft and scented.

Nedra Rogers is the recipient of the third New Voice Award in Poetry. She is the winner of the 2004 Langston Hughes Award in Poetry. She lives and teaches in Lawrence, Kansas.

Copyright 2004© Nedra Rogers

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