Poetry

The Madonna

The material girl rolls across the floor,
smashing the border fence
right into Colonia Esperanza
where a cute boy lives near the foam
of the New River.

Where the gay drag bar hovers
on its banks, the cement foundation juts
over the edge. An impersonator lip-synchs,
twirling her rosary.

Where the bus dies in the middle
of the street on a desert midday
searching for my boy, and his brother
died of TB, the next.

Where a car radio blares “Like a Virgin”
while the palatero rings his bell,
for another soul has made it to heaven.

Where a motel has all its rooms
unlocked. And we spend an awkward night
unfamiliar with each other,
while Our Lady watches.

And on a Sunday morning,
the Madonna sits with us
while we eat birria,
under a tarp
of a home that has become a restaurant
that the material girl rolled into.

Ricardo Moran was one of 12 finalists in the We Need Diverse Books picture book contest in 2017. In 2020, he received the Peter K. Hixson Memorial Award for Poetry. Additionally, he sits on the board of the San Diego Writers Ink, and is also a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild where he often communes with the spirit of Willa Cather at Red Cloud.