say you were beautiful, and that all the boys liked you very much. I've seen you and I can see why the fellows
would think so. We've got those kinds of
genes: the good kind
. The kind boys and
the other girls pine for. Mamá doesn't
like to think about it because her place in time has shifted slightly
she's so beautiful. Her eyes are deep
like an inverse moon and I see those eyes when I see you.
the grainy photograph and that three-quarter view. The one where you're wearing the fanciful
laced blouse that covers all right up to the neck? That one.
Your dark hair is neatly brushed back and done up. Your hands rest on your lap where the photo
gets cut off along the bottom. It's a
regal pose, that of someone who has descended from nobility. We don't pose for photos like that anymore. I'd say we don't care enough, but I really
think we just care too much.
night before, it wasn’t special. Of course it was
special, but you didn't know. You and
Abuelita and Mamá and Tia Sofi and Tio Chon and Tio Rodolfo and Tia
Magi and Tio Carlos and Tio Miguel and Tia Belen were all just
watching the television. Not Abuelito
because he passed away in that accident on the side of the highway. You might have just thought about him, like I do
about Papá. The light spring rain tinkling
on tin roof shingles right above was probably annoying, but I don’t think you
would have turned up the volume. Tio
Chon, maybe, since he never listens anyway.
You saw things in black and white when the world was so colorful as you
sat there with the burnt adobe wall looming behind you. Did you wonder why, I wonder. Why things had to be so black, white, and
flat. As you sat on the cushions and
didn’t talk you probably didn’t know.
Why would anyone know? I have a
feeling, given enough time, you would have.
It would become clear that the world, this world, mine and yours, is more
than what they tell us. More, I hope,
than what they told you.
did you think of a breeze? It's cool
most certain, but a good cool or a bad cool?
Personally I think the prudes would consider it a bad cool, and you
don't seem like you were a prude. Just
young, barely no longer a kid and almost (so close) a woman. You might've liked being a woman. I'm finding it okay but it can be tough,
especially when sitting alone on a balcony in the middle of the night. It's really tough, then. But you sat on that balcony as well, didn't
you? Was it the same then? Was it endless?
never met the husband or children you might have had. We might have gotten
along, I think. He would be a big man, driving trucks. If you were kind enough
maybe he would have a moustache. I can see the farm he would work on far away
from you and them. I can see the dirt beneath his fingernails as he would finally hold
your waist again and kiss you, because he would love you so much, and he would be
proud. I can see it, really. They, the little ones, so many! My cousins, my
friends, we would have such great adventures. I must admit, and I am sorry for
this, but we would get in trouble, frequently and with great vigor. I can even
see the scars we would have. There would
be one right here on my pinky as a matter of fact. I would have cried then.
it dreams for you that night? Was it
nightmares? I could say that I know, but
I wouldn’t dare. I have seen that room you might have dreamt in and the kinds
of dreams in there seem too plain for you. Dreams of things like a cabinet, and
dust, and many beads and crosses. I hope
not, but maybe even a Bloody Jesus. I don’t know but can only hope that the
night was pleasant, hopeful, and sprinkled with a light and cheerful rain. I dream of these things, that I do know, so
you might have too.
were three miles from where you disappeared, after Mamá and Tia Sofi first
noticed you were gone. It was the river,
that winding snake of a river. Green and
alluring, I would have jumped in too. Maybe
the others were too scared but not you. It’s
only water, it’s only the roar of water.
What could it do? Nothing, not a
thing, not a damn thing! To hell with
water and to hell with holding back.
Nothing would keep you from it, you were so brave, you were so
grand. Belle of the ball! Queen of the sky! No, water, no. You were Pachita, my Tia Pachita! You were the always there.
walked out of the house that morning. Maybe you felt the breeze, like I