Ronald Baytan

(Manila / Philippines)

Queen - Poem by Ronald Baytan

Mama, the rhinestones are falling one by one
Because I always put the crown on my head
When you and Papa are sleeping. Imagine:
A fairy at the center stands with her wand
That stirs glowing waves of magic like sea
Shells in the dark. The crown is divine.

Mama, the gown I wore that night is fading
In the closet, unwashed black velvet exuding
Beauty irretrievably gone. It’s a backless
Sleeveless tube with big slits on the side,
Silver sequins on the padded bosoms, and white
Gloves for the spectacular beauty that I am.

Mama, my shoe size is ten, and the pair I bought
Is plain, pure black, four-inch heels like ice cream
Cones, enough to make me feel like Diana.
When they stab the marble floor, I hear
The clicking of light, regal steps from a castle far,
Far away. One night, the queen knew.

Mama, my sash is kept in a hidden drawer
Where secrets abound as beautiful boys thriving
On paper. It is white, laced with gold strips
On the side and reads: Miss Gay Universe 1995.
They all loved that beauty, your son, when he
Walked. No doubt, the ribbon was made for my hips.

Mama, as you sleep in the other room, I am
Sushmita, head up, teeth white, lips red and wide,
Hands touching hips, foamy bosom out, tummy
Tucked. In my mind, Mama, I am holding a fresh bouquet,
Waving to a feverish crowd, and you are there crying
Because it’s your son’s farewell walk as queen.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012



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