there is a basin filled with nothing or so they say.
yet at night when the moon is beginning to glow water begins to show. the moon's magnetic power causes it to seep out from under the earth. worms that once lived underground begin to drown. and then color-covered fish begin to come forth.
a girl approaches. she has hair so long it could float all the way to the ocean.
she sinks her knees into the earth's damp soil, as if she were a pastor on a sunday morning, and begins to hum a soulful tune.
the water glistens like stage lights, the dead worms wiggle a dance, and the fish soon follow.
a spectacular performance.
she gives a sorrowful smile at the moon. a fishing net soon interrupts the artists.
she will be fed for time without end.
she gives thanks.
when they ask me to write about myself i can only give them this. even i do not understand why images like these appear when i think about myself. i am a pisces with a cancer moon so maybe that is why i tend to feel too much.
i am my grandmother’s small and plump tears when she thinks of her pueblo. i am my mother’s broken english as she greets the cashier. i am my sister’s abandoned dreams, her acceptance letter is etched into my palm. i am my brother’s path to citizenship along with all the photographic evidence. i am my brother in law’s laughter when he speaks to the nephew he has never met. i am the ever constant fear of being denied a home. i am the secrets carried on backs through miles and miles of desert. i am the pan dulce on sunday mornings. i am the mole and carnitas at birthday parties. i am the thick hair on arms. i am the first bite of a burger king hamburger after years of poverty. i am the first item of clothing bought at a kmart after years of patching up old clothes.
so how dare you think less of me? you do not know what i carry. all this pain. all this joy. all this strength.
i am chicana. the bridge between two worlds. i will not be burned down.
un producto de una familia mexicana que vino a un país lejano por un futuro.
i feel my stomach churn when i mention home! i cannot sleep at night! ¡curandero! please fix me!
¡ay dios mío! ¡niña tu tienes mal aire! you are a sick child! too young to carry so many ghosts! you must follow my instructions clearly.
¡sobate con un huevo! rub a cold raw egg all over your body! make sure you rub the cold surface on your forehead! it cleanses your mind! then rub it down your back to fix that spine! it will straighten you up!
¡compra una vela blanca! make sure to light your white candle at six in the morning and six in the evening. these are the times when the sun caresses it’s lips to the horizon. a beginning and end so mystical that even ghosts pause to witness the view. these are the moments where you must ignite them away.
you must also pray my child. pray to whatever divine force you believe in.
but curandero the only divine force i know is myself. how can i heal if i alone am the destroyer?
mija, there exists no such thing. you alone are you. to heal you must destroy. to destroy you must heal. escúchame, you are divine. the ghosts you keep are not friends. scare them away. show them your power.
come see me again, but when you return, you will be new. with the ways of el curandero you will thrive in your own cosmos.
mi padre me llevo a conocer el hermanito. el era un curandero en el cerro y este hombre me curo. me quito el mal aire pero no supo que mi padre era el fantasma que llevaba adentro de mi. ya lo perdone.
my mother sees purple because purple lives on her flesh.
she has stains from shoulders down. they scatter across her back like pressed grapes. the juice squeezed out of them to create a rich man’s wine. they wrap around her legs like grape vines. pulling her closer to the ground with each step.
she hides them. when men approach her she says “quiero que me ames. my body has rejected me and even in the **** i was mutating.”
the men love her face. she is a woman who does not age. they say to her “tu eres morada. to love yourself you must accept the color.” so they have all added new shades of purple to her body.
i think that is why my favorite eyeshadow color is purple.
es el color que mi mama ve cuando piensa en el amor.
my grandmother used to stand over an open flame every cold morning. she would fan the fire allowing it to breath. then she would boil the water for the cinnamon tea. this ritual was for all the men in her life. just so they could awaken to the smell of spice and ignited flesh.
at least she kept warm.
strong men like to drink cinnamon tea. they like to mix their coffee into it every morning. it's a beverage with double the damage. they also enjoy dipping their tongue in the boiling drink so they can sample the taste of a woman’s burning.