the tropics


like a groom’s cummerbund / its pleats shimmy up & down

the planet’s waistline / cancer & capricorn / conch-pink

sashes / their fore-&-aft sails held together by the equator’s

mizzen seam /


each latitude concocts its own party blend / dark rum &

homemade song / impromptu scratch bands / leeward lads

ay-huh-aying astride lean-to bars / strumming / drumming

whatever is at hand /


calabash or washboard or drainpipe / they usher in mango

skies & monsoon veils / serenade newlyweds beachside /

no better blessing / no better nuptial launch / than the breathy

beats of snack-shack shivaree


Maureen Kingston is an assistant editor at The Centrifugal Eye. Her poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in The Bookends Review, Dead Snakes, Emerge Literary Journal, Gargoyle, Gone Lawn, Gutter Eloquence Magazine, Red River Review, Rufous City Review, Stone Highway Review,, Wild Orphan and The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets.