World Without End
In those last days, before the world ended, Lucia Salvador Calderón lived by the lists she made. Her blessings became inventory. She wrote them down to remind herself: she had the banana tree in the backyard; she had the ceramic tiles on the bathroom floor, cool against the soles of her feet; she had the […]
Nothing Compares 2 U
God disappears on a Tuesday afternoon and no one even notices. Business proceeds, the stock market stays level, the news stations don’t catch wind of it, and parents pick up their children from school and feed them Cheetos, fine, if they’ll just be quiet. No strange weather announces the departure—it’s been raining since morning and […]
I start project ‘three-months-in-the-hills’ aboard Nilgiri Mountain Railway’s toy train, the eucalyptus-laden mountain air and the spice-scented tea plantations quickly stir up long-forgotten memories. Two years ago, Sheena had suggested a day trip to a nearby vineyard. Somewhere between gazing out across the endless rows of vines and sampling the six local wines, we learned […]
To have survived my womb, the egg must have been recycled from some previous life. It was mottled like a chicken’s, constellated with birthmarks I had spent summers smothering with fleshy spray paint to sell at my mother’s stand; it wobbled like frogspawn, a palmful of jelly that I had been looking forward to since moving back, tadpoles bursting open with the magnolia.
‘Cimera ha?’ he said. And I almost cried to hear my language for the first time since I’d left home. Then he said, ‘Don’t bother replying, I won’t understand if you do. I looked up how to say it after we spoke last week. Just tell me how you are in English.’
They had not had sex in years, but this did not bother Marla. If she were to walk past the same brook every day and watch it ebb away, it would not strike her as a horror. Only sudden changes, extreme and violent, suggested horror. Hurricanes, droughts.
I Drive in Circles
Sometimes, when we first started dating, my girlfriend reminded me of my ex, especially when we were kissing, eyes closed. I now wonder if my girlfriend also thinks about our ex when she kisses me, and if she imagines our ex just as I imagine her. Then perhaps neither of us is really present and we are just our ex making out with herself, which would be a turn on for my girlfriend and me and also for our mutual ex, who is self-centered.
The somber ending is commentary on police states like Mexico and America, in which people—haunted by their mistakes, banned from finding work, losing their voting rights, become ghosts in their environments, and wind up, once again, chained to their pasts.