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from Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

The music and the spirals of cigarette smoke rising up like genies. The other kids already asleep wherever they fell. Draped on a chair. Or on a volcano of coats. Or under a table. Everywhere except their beds. But no one notices.

The bodies below moving and twirling like bits of colored glass in a kaleidescope. Tables and chairs pushed to the edges to make room for dancing. "Vereda tropical" playing from the hi-fi. Aunties in silk dresses so tight they seem to explode like orchids, aunties laughing with their big flower mouths, and the air sweet-sweet with their ladies' perfume, and sweeter still the men's cologne, the kind men wear here in Mexico, sweeter than flowers, like the sugary words whispered in the women's ears--- mi vida, mi cielo, muñeca, mi niña bonita.

The men in their shark suits, gray with a little lightening bolt of blue, or olive with a gleam of gold when they move. A stiff white handkerchief in the pocket. The man's hand leading a woman when they dance, just a little tug, just a little like when you yank a kite to remind it--- Don't go too far. And the woman's hand nesting inside the man's big heart-shaped hand, and his other hand on her big heart-shaped hips. A beautiful woman with black-black eyes and dark skin, who is our mother in her good fuchsia satin dress bought at the Three Sisters on Madison and Pulaski, and her matching fuchsia cut-glass earrings. Swish of stockings against the cream-colored nylon slip with its twin shells of lace on top and an accordion pleat at the hem, and one strap, always one, lazy and loose and asking to be put back. My father with a curl of lavender cigarette smoke, his mouth hot next to my mother's ear when he whispers, his mustache tickling, the roughness of his cheek, and my mother throwing her head back and laughing.

Thanks, atomic_star, for loaning this book to me.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
That's wild. I came thisclose to taking that out of the library this week. Only reason I didn't was because I already had more than I could carry.
May. 17th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
I miss going to the library for pleasure.
Plus, school cuts into any time I have to read for pleasure.

I am in a brief interim right now and I am trying to get in as much as I can.

I highly recommend the book if you like Cisneros' writing. The book is like a mosaic.
May. 19th, 2008 11:52 am (UTC)
that was delicious.

reminds me that mothers and fathers have a world all unto their own.
May. 26th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)
Totally! :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )