Quatrain

Esta Noche

In a dress with a black tulip’s sheen     la fabulosa Lola enters, late, mounts the stairs to the plywood platform, and begs whoever runs     the wobbling spot to turn the lights down

to something flattering. When they halo her     with a petal-toned gel, she sets to haranguing, shifting in and out of two languages like gowns     or genders to please have a little respect

for the girls, flashing the one entrancing     and unavoidable gap in the center of her upper teeth. And when the cellophane drop goes black,     a new spot coronas her in a wig

From My Alexandria, by Mark Doty (©1993), reproduced by permission of the author and University of Illinois Press.

Esta Noche

Esta Noche

In a dress with a black tulip’s sheen     la fabulosa Lola enters, late, mounts the stairs to the plywood platform, and begs whoever runs     the wobbling spot to turn the lights down

to something flattering. When they halo her     with a petal-toned gel, she sets to haranguing, shifting in and out of two languages like gowns     or genders to please have a little respect

for the girls, flashing the one entrancing     and unavoidable gap in the center of her upper teeth. And when the cellophane drop goes black,     a new spot coronas her in a wig

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