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Your Mexican Stomach, and: Actual-Self Costume Party

From: Colorado Review
Volume 40, Number 3, Fall/Winter 2013
pp. 126-128 | 10.1353/col.2013.0089

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Your Mexican Stomach:

We step onto the highway and
suddenly you don't know what to do

with me. There are truckers in
skirts, cars parked in the drainage

ditch, and everyone is looking at
my beard and the wedding dress

I hold with my kneecaps as
you lean and whisper, I just think

they're hungry. I want to tell you that this
was your idea, but you are already walking

across the damp-set pavement like a
cat-calling lesbian construction

worker in an all-girls tennis camp
bathhouse. I am cold and the light

is leaving and you look, even at
this distance, tribal in the sway

of your low-bare hips. As you
approach the crowd, I see we are

outside a convenient Mexican
restaurant. There are candles

in the windows, a man with no
legs, a child waitress asking

us kindly what we do not want
her not to bring. I put on the

dress in an attempt to age
respectably. One of the drivers

hands me a leash, and I bring
you a small goat that we tie

to a coat rack. When I sit
apart from you, the crowd

we encountered stands ready
with cameras. I order you

a combination platter of two
speared fish and a warm

margarita, and after the plate and
glass are delivered you ask me to tell

you the story we have not shared: this
can't happen, I say, paying in rhythm

the mariachi band to stop playing
Borderline. You suggest I introduce

the other characters, but I argue
it's best if we skip to the end. But

this is the end, you say, and then you
remove a box from your purse and place

it weak on the table. There is an intercom
announcement calling for silence. What I

know of the box couldn't fit in an
airport. What I know of an airport just

takes you away.

Actual-Self Costume Party:

I ask your boyfriend to dance with me
on the ambulance gurney, but he says
he is too afraid of heights. You are
still on the floor crouched low behind
the furnace. You’ve been there since the storm,
since the sky bullied day into sealed
orange nothing, the stretch of our horizon raised
cattle on the move. The medics want
to check you for lung mold and disproportionate
familial obligation, but you refuse such irrational
touching. Instead, you ask for someone to garden
you, to release the broad rest of
your tremorring striped dress and service your body
a great pile of dirt. I have
a shovel of hands in my pockets, and
one of the medics says his daughter
climbed into the washing machine when she first
got her period. Your boyfriend calls a
local male meteorologist, but there is too much
debris unboxing the room we are all
unnaturally boxed in to hear the bald bear
of the dial tone eating what little
it finds in our chests. Once I swam
in a pool made for midgets, I
say. The medics are holding your boyfriend’s new
belt. I can’t look, you say, and
the airplane rescue wrecks into the river. You
make of yourself an unfolded brochure. I
begin to stand up. It is as far
as I get.

Daniel Khalastchi  

Daniel Khalastchi is the author of Manoleria (Tupelo Press, 2011). A former fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, his poems have recently appeared in Iowa Review, H_NGM_N, and Columbia Poetry Review. He lives in Iowa City and is the managing editor of Rescue Press.

Copyright © 2013 Center for Literary Publishing
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Daniel Khalastchi. "Your Mexican Stomach, and: Actual-Self Costume Party." Colorado Review 1.3 (2013): 126-128. Project MUSE. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Khalastchi, D.(2013). Your Mexican Stomach, and: Actual-Self Costume Party. Colorado Review 1(3), 126-128. Center for Literary Publishing. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Daniel Khalastchi. "Your Mexican Stomach, and: Actual-Self Costume Party." Colorado Review 1, no. 3 (2013): 126-128. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed November 11, 2013).

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