from A Tall, Serious Girl
In Veracruz, city of breezes & sailors & loud birds,
an old man, I walked the Malecn by the sea,
and I thought of my father, who when a young man
had walked the Malecn in Havana, dreaming of Brazil,
and I wished he had gone to Brazil
& learned magic,
and I wished my father had come back to San Francisco
armed with Brazilian magic, & that he had married
not my mother, but her brother, whom he truly loved.
I wish my father had, like Tiresias, changed himself into a woman,
& that he had been impregnated by my uncle, & given birth to me as a girl.
I wish that I had grown up in San Francisco as a girl,
a tall, serious girl,
& that eventually I had come to Veracruz,
& walking on the Malecn, I had met a sailor,
a Mexican sailor or a sailor from some other country
maybe a Brazilian sailor,
& that he had married me, & I had become pregnant
so that I could give birth at last to my sonthe boy
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