Red Parade

By David Trinidad David Trinidad
Depressed because my
book wasn’t nominated
for a gay award,

I lie on my couch
watching—not listening to—
the O.J. trial.

Byron, who senses
something’s wrong, hides under the
bed until Ira

comes home, carrying
a bouquet of beautifully
wrapped tulips. I press

the mute button. “This
is your prize,” he says. “Guess what
they’re called.” A smile in-

voluntarily
overcomes my frown. “What?” “Red
Parade.” “That sounds like

the name of an old
Barbie outfit,” I say. “That’s
exactly what I

told the florist. And
you know what she told me?” “What?”
“When she was a girl,

she turned her Barbie
into Cleopatra: gave
her an Egyptian

haircut and painted
her nipples blue.” “How cool.” “Yeah,
but now she thinks that

her doll would be worth
eight hundred dollars if she
hadn’t messed it up.”

Once in water, the
tulips begin to unclench—
ten angry fists. Their

colors are fierce, like
Plath’s “great African cat,” her
“bowl of red blooms.” Poor

Sylvia, who so
desperately wanted awards,
and only won them

after she was dead.
Byron jumps up, Ira sits
down and massages

my feet. “You guys.” My
spirits are lifted by their
tulips, kisses, licks.

“Red Parade” from Plasticville (Turtle Point Press, 2000). © 2000 by David Trinidad. Used by permission of author.

Source: Plasticville (Turtle Point Press, 2000)

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Poet David Trinidad

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Poetry & Poets