The fig-ripe Valkyries, The cookie-cutter sweethearts Your Cologne-born mother Had carefully, almost gingerly Allotted for you, In wayward fashion, You praised our high desert town’s Wary, wiseacre Latina girls, With lush rose-trellis names: Keris, Jacinta, Maria Isabel, Socorro … I replay those early years Of sheer horseplay and camaraderie, As we trek to irresistible Tulum, And later, climb to the panoramic top Of the rugged pyramid in Cobá (Yes, with its buffeted cloud flotillas, Its fabled blue-and-white canopy, Mexico has my favorite sky), Stopping for a journeyman bullfight In a humble jungle village, Where your flagpole height, Wheat-colored ponytail, And tallow-pale forearms Make you a lightning-fast Nordic celeb, A Mayan curiosity— Back in college, we used to exclaim: I see a hammock with my name on it! Nowadays, in spiffed-up Playa del Carmen, There’s little sleeping outdoors: After a flirty, agile jack-of-all-trades Valiantly fixes your truck’s flat tire, Marcelino gleefully coaxes, and yes, slyly ushers “Caramelo and Guapo Gringo” (As if we’d been hailed As first-class Lucha Libre wrestlers!) To a newly inaugurated, no-frills hotel, Where an impervious tarantula blooms, Above the lintel of our shore-blessed room, Page 34 - Nine Mile Magazine

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