The Wedding at Parma

by Mireya Perez

Parma, Italy

Beyond basilicas, walled-in cities,
Mosaics, Tintoretto’s and Madonnas
Here in Italia she wanted to see a wedding.
Close to 5 p.m. feasting on formaggio, pomodori
and foccacia
on that stone bench the basilica in front
looking across the piazza
a sudden flicker, a glint of gold
caught her eye
the shining from the little girl’s feet
climbing the steps to the basilica
below her pale rose ankle-length gown
held by the elegant blonde woman in the white suit
and towering heels
as slim, dark-suited men began to cluster
by the marbled walls
below them yellow taxis spill forth
gesturing, tanned, silky women in three-inch heels
who pick a path through the cobblestones
to the entrance steps
as a sparkling Alfa Romeo coupe
trailing white tulle stops directly
under the main gate of the basilica.
Ancient wood groans to open revealing rose garlanded
stone pillars beyond
waiting prelates
the organ’s breathing strains
the choir’s “alleluias”
Quickly she crossed to the basilica
wishes do happen

Mireya’s poems leap from English to Spanish and back again, invoking an array of spirits. Her poetry appears in Caribbean Review, Revista del Hada, NYU Poetry Review, and in Anthology of Colombian Women Poets, among other places.