by Leticia Priebe Rocha
as Carmen Miranda,
the Brazilian Bombshell, our pride and our shame.
I, too, have four names that do not fit
in the mouths of Americans.
You twirled your way from jungle
to civilization and never stopped spiraling -
Lady with the Tutti Frutti Hat, bursting
with light; widen your mouth until luminous teeth
make the cracks underneath go undetected.
I have felt it always, this pull
of death. Your heart gave out at forty-six,
did you feel it too? The rhythms you gave yourself to,
did they seep into your blood, a tic
tic tac tic tic tac in your veins that left you dazzling
the gringos until your own oblivion?
You were buried in the homeland, our people
crying out: “Te perdoamos, Pequena Notável.”
I hope they forgive me too.