Marilyn and Jonalyn
by Deborah Byrne

    Twice a month, our mothers went
    to the Kontiki Palace. Told us
    tales that made us want to be
    old enough to date-
    gussied up
    in rhinestone strap dresses,
    shoes dyed to match, going
    with the greased-back-hair guys
    dressed in shark skin suits
    that looked blue-gray
    pizzazzed with a sometimes glint
    of our favorite color, pink-pink.

    At the Kontiki Palace,
    they drank from ceramic coconuts-
    brought us back paper umbrellas
    and green plastic swords piercing
    canned pineapple chunks and maraschino
    cherries that stained our tongues.
    Once in a while they ordered
    the scorpion bowl which was set
    in the middle of their table with four arm length
    see-through straws sticking out of it
    like legs. Orchids were strewn
    on top of ice, alcohol and fruity  juices.
    It made them wild.

    Once an hour,
    a jungle rain would pour down
    the rock walls they lounged near. Dangling
    their shoes on the tips of their toes,
    they laughed-
    feigned fear until the men
    hugged them. Thunder beat
    time to pulsing native drums
    as they sank back on black plastic banquettes
    that made sticky sounds
    when they lifted their thighs.

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