Cesar says it through the hovering ring,
that I am nothing but a dumb gringa
waiting for Quetzalcoatl to come.

He is sitting outside my little place
on a plastic white chair stained with
cigarette holes.

He hands me a can of El Pico when he comes,
tells me to make it strong, not the
way Americans make it.

I grind lemons on the counter while
the coffee falls into the pot, because lemons
cure heartache.

I watch him through the window,
the curtains are the color of maize.

He has big knuckles tapping
on the table, he is blowing the smoke
at me, making my hair smell like
cheap cigars, the kind he keeps in
his sweaty, wet jean pockets
all day outside the stupid
pelicula place.

A church bell rings, and the coffee
is done. I feel stupid for being white.

Lisa Marie Basile is author of "A Decent Voodoo," soon to be released by Cervena Barva Press. She has been published recently in Word Riot, elimae, Moon Milk Review and featured in Poets & Artists Magazine. She's editor of Caper Literary Journal and
performs as Luna Liprari of The Poetry Brothel. She is in an MFA program at The New School.


I often make up characters that I weave throughout many poems. Cesar is one
of them. In this poem, I show myself naively waiting for Quetzalcoatl, or God. I struggle with my own belief system, questioning everything and having a hard time accepting my agnostic-atheism. This makes me sad, and in this poem, Cesar scolds me for waiting for God, and does all these pesky little dirty things that remind me that life is just life and perfection may not exist. I feel stupid for questioning and wondering and waiting. The God question plays a big part in my writing. Maybe this came from me very
religious Italian grandparents or from something else, but I always struggle to reconcile my doubt and hope through writing.




Copyright 2009