By Pat Mora
Like Sonia Sanchez and Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora attracts on oral and lyrical traditions; she reclaims the background and tradition of her Mexican roots, specifically actual and imagined Mexican ladies of the earlier, from a tribute to Frida Kahlo to an interview with an Aztec goddess.
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His chuckles curl with his cigar smoke, his teases to girls in nearby shops, "Oye, linda," banter familiar as the work, rhythm I remember. Your body, solid as an álamo, we can never trust again. It practiced stillness. I stare at him, hover near music I once knew, listen, hear you whose voice alone pricks my tears. Page 10 I turn, and he's gone, light off, cigar rolling done for the day, his spot bare under the palm trees, only a shadow. Like yours. Wings. Sleep. A fluttering, like book pages flapping wildly around the bed, no, wings, the summer a snake twitched in the watering can.
Wind runs round, around the widow's hushed home Page 83 like children chase themselves in rain, mouths open, ready to swallow what falls from the sky. Page 84 Napping Sunday Afternoon What does he dream, este muchacho stretched out carelessly on Sunday afternoon, how he trusts us not to stir him from the shade. How he trusts us not to interrupt our tourist stroll, bend and stroke his face, as his mother surely did, ten years ago wake his soft body, nest it in her arms. " Did you sniff and sniff until all colors blurred again, slid in to fill your stomach empty as a gourd?
Hijas, beware of altars and rumors of legends. They say I called sweet as birdsong to Juan Diego rushing to the curling hum of holy incense. Como la flor de rosa. Como el arco iris. Como las nubes de gloria. Como la luna espléndida. They need them, hijas. Come. Rise, but ignore halos, hovering men who look like angelitos. Como la flor de rosa. Como el arco iris. Como las nubes de gloria. Como la luna espléndida. Play the symbols. I loan my cape to women in tennis shoes who fly back and forth across the Río Grande.
Agua Santa: Holy Water by Pat Mora