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POETRY Fade to Sun Yellow Good morning, Chiquita, shake off the pink margaritas, another day opens like a virgin diary and I’m off to the bakery for cinnamon buns. You wake to the scent of them warming in the microwave, dusty blond hair half-covering your face. You lick a thread of saliva at the corner of your lips, squint into a sunbeam sprawling across the bed. With you still in school and my debts somehow paid this is our place now, where the grass is baked brown eight months a year and the people smell like lakewater and Coppertone, but who knows where else we might wake up this way, maybe in San Francisco, watching the white morning-sparks tumble on the blue bay. There would still be demons but because of you I could swat them like the occasional roaches sprinting across the kitchen, because of you I could not think about the big ones breeding in the walls, in spaces that have never known light. June Wedding A church organ squirts out notes that could wax a kitchen floor. You walk the aisle a little dazed with a rigor-mortis smile, the summer brownness of your body sealed off in white. One seat behind you in algebra, I always teased you for reading that book about how to find yourself a husband, your eyes so earnest and wide you’d wrapped it in a Dr. Pepper book cover scrawled thick with phone numbers and crossed-out names of boys. And late afternoons you came jogging by my house, all sweet peach perfume and sweat. You sat on the hood of my Mustang, we drank lemonade in the shade of the oaks and once you told me about a dream in which you were 30, living on the beaches in Belize, with only your journal and your lace-white silence to hint at all your mysteries. The minister’s galloping cadences crackle like crosses on fire, your voice breaks on your vows but I can’t tell why at 21 are you taking what you can get or are you the happiest catfish farmer’s bride in Texas? I remember those black-eyed Susans blazing in the yard, sugar crystals on your lips, your laugh when I dropped on my knees to kiss your thigh … At the reception I kiss your cheek, scrubbed clean of little things I knew you by. B.C. Cohen B.C. Cohen grew up in Austin, lived and worked in New York City for a few years and currently studies writing at Sarah Lawrence College. He runs a website devoted to poetry, . Email him at [email protected] .Though we realize it is not yet June, we desperately needed a poem about people doing something optimistic together in these sorrowing days. Also, B.C. Cohen has waited long enough to see these poems in print! Naomi Shihab Nye. 4/25/03 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21