who could have been born a Jewess
or a Chicana, or a Negress
(if by born I mean created,
immaculately, in a playwright's meandering
instead, grew up in the Bronx; so-called
West-Side, boricua extraordinaire.

Not realising as she daydreamed
in her frightened languid way inside
a stifling overcrowded public highschool
which rang with awkward English during class time
but resounded ebonics, slang, profanity and spanish
during lunchtime; as she turned this way
and that in front of her brazen mirror
thinking about -
. well, what did Maria think?

Maybe Maria
when the camera was riveted to the cold hard
face-lines of Tony or Anita or Bernardo, thought about
her future, her husband, or maybe her girlfriend.
Maybe Maria was a lesbian.
maybe she laid awake at night
with her hand shivering between her thighs
heart and respiration rate and blood pressure
skyrocketing off towards the cosmos
a dancing creamy girl-child friend
from a long lost childhood Maria
had almost forgotten. Maybe Maria
came, convulsing then trembling, every night;
stifling herself with her

other hand, until the night she met Tony.