Sunday, June 25, 2006

She Knows What's Up

No flames emerge from her cape. Eight stray estrellas and roses in her turquoise aura. Boy-child beneath her lifts lonestar horns, his wings the Mexican flag or a rocket popsicle with green instead of artic blue.

Someone has wrapped an American flag on the wire mantle. Three white, three red stripes, a patch of warped stars, silk flowers. This comadre is truly brown. She clasps her hands but does not have a submissive face--she knows what’s up and the swirl of her dress like a petal, like a tear dropping gold.

100 degrees and men wear hats, boots, and jeans--no short sleeves or cuts in this life where across the street girls arrive in desperation before their bellies ready to swell and a toddler in yellow’s a soft Easter sun shining on sidewalk.

She doesn’t need the angel or the earthly flames. Doesn’t need roses or stars or countries’ flags or sun-dry paper flowers. Doesn’t need soft hands to pray. Doesn’t need robes or adoration. Her face her experience. She closes, half closes, her eyes in contemplation. She will not be saved nor will she save. Shall continue. With her own. Knowledge.

Milk, Eggs, Candies, Bread painted red--all scarlet rays and pump and dust. Wind kicks it all up around the everyday goddess whose complexion matches adobe bricks for homes and the always-golden arms of girls.

These pictures (taken) and prose notes (written) a few summers ago... recently I noticed Frankie's Grocery in Segundo Barrio no longer in business and thought to revisit this. The mural is still there.

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