They said, “Don’t be wild, little girl,
red is for December mirth and February passion.
If you want to be a pure bride, if you want to be a star,
you must wear white; maybe inured gold or subdued silver.
I said nothing.
Fretting your words would burst out of my mouth,
and the world,
and the shop keepers,
and the hoarders of orthodoxy
(who mean less than almost nothing to me)
would be blasted by the sound
of your death-clad jollity.
Because I know, Little Brother,
that you would shout in their prim faces,
“Hahahahaha! I used to walk the New York City night,
under the hottest of summery darks,
to get passion fruit ice cream
for my Big Sister to eat at the Witching Hour.
And she was the purest of stars in my eyes.”
My heart fills when I think of you,
my feelings turn into waters
that dance down my cheeks
and frame my smiles with bittersweet salt.
Like the other day,
when the Heart I chose for me, when the Heart that chose me back
hunted the New York City day and night,
battling through slips of white, ivory, eggshell, fuchsia…
until he captured red silk that made me jump and shriek with delight.
They say little girls dream of marrying their fathers;
but I’m a witchy woman, Little Brother—
I’m marrying Papi’s kindness, and
your greater-than-any-universe happy heart,
packed in a soul that makes me brighter than the wildest of stars.
And I’m very surprised, Little Brother,
because I never knew I needed any of this or that…
“Did I just hear the joy-full rumble of a death-clad laugh?”
inspired by brotherly love that has travelled to the Summerlands
and “You Don’t Have to Be a Star,” by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr
Fabian Perez’s Dancer in Red Lunares Negros