Dreaming of Barcelona at Seventeen
by Brandy Bauer

    You remember the flamenco costume
    of Halloweens past, flaming orange with black fringe
    and the great white comb your mother pinned
    in hair short as a boy's. You sat on the toilet seat
    as she raked through the tangles, and imagined
    the bullfighter you'd grow up to marry.
    He would have a narrow waist and sparkling epaulets,
    a cape of velvet to swirl over the bull's
    angry head. Even now as you hide away in your room,
    stereo blasting "Bamboleo," you read postcards
    from your sister in Madrid and dream of boys
    with names like Enrique, Roberto, boys
    less pimply and paler than the ones you let kiss you
    at the movies or in the car coming home.
    Wearing your mother's faded mantilla
    you dance before the mirror and wonder
    how much it would cost to cross an ocean.

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