From My Mother Agrees with the Dead, a work-in-progress.
It isn’t what you think.
I’m not just another American gringo, chasing old lady luck South. Staring wide-eyed at their beautiful skin, at the bones of the burros, the dogs and the rats. It’s not why I’ve come, to stare, to open my eyes this wide, sucking the lemon before I drink. In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit—no man is large enough to hold what’s been done. We paint murals. The bishop teaches The People to make crafts. So ugly, the prices rise. In the square, light slips between the cracks, the girls, arm in arm, walk these stones, their muscles bent over brooms and rosaries. All boys lean and tumble, eyes full of gossip and green-backs, tight Levi’s, the horses ignore the sun and the prayers spill out of doorways, hearts heaving in the sway of jacaranda falling into the streets, flies lighting the fruit in the stalls. I’m here: Patzcuaro the mountains so close to heaven they sent the bishop to apologize. He stands solid in the square, round-bellied, soft in this light, Jesus, look at that.