bruja at heart

‘magic is of the devil, and the devil is not invited into our home’. you remind us, your children, of this as my sister burns red candles and mixes her scented oils. i laugh. as if these things were magical. to spite you, my sister lights a black candle. ‘you are opening doors, inviting energies you don’t know how to handle’, you hiss, like a cat who is being threatened by the unknown.

you head back to the kitchen, where you resume boiling rosemary and herbs. the subtle, fresh, woody scent drifts throughout the apartment, almost warming it. you place the concoction in front of us. it is a soft shade of pink. ‘it’s the lemon. good for your immune system’, you explain, smiling. ‘i put some rosemary in a cup for you, by itself, so you can pour it over yourself in the shower. it cleanses away the bad spirits,’ you add.

i think your notebooks are one of your prized possessions. they are crammed with information about vegetables, fruits, clays, vitamins, herbs, oils, and their healing properties. you know what foods are good for the heart, what herbs alleviate colds, and what can make them worsen.

knowledge is power. you healed your own bleeding wound, with no scar to tell the tale. i still remember when i burned myself on my right elbow, and how you healed my burns. egg whites are useful–they help prevent scarring. my grandpa had skin cancer, and you sent him a package full of vitamins, clays, and herbs. he survived the cancer and he’s been healthy ever since. you remind me of this when you notice me taking ibuprofen or dayquil.

‘i don’t have any money, but in my will, i’ll make sure each of you gets a notebook’, you’ve joked.

my sister collects scented oils, lights candles, and draws the symbols she sees in her dreams in her notebooks. you’ve caught her, and you’ve told her that she is doing the devil’s work. we are catholics, and the priests warn against magic.

i laugh. it’s funny because you are magical, mother.

morning conversations

every morning, at the small square table
covered with a cream tablecloth that almost
grazes the floor, there is a disagreement.
sometimes it is about thrift stores, memories,
the taste of cinnamon, gun control–
but today, it is about tortillas.

did you know that some people put peanut butter in their tortillas?
my sister says, as she stares at the white woman on tv
eating a chicken wrap.

oh, yeah. i nod. i have a coworker who does that.
some people don’t even heat them up.

she frowns, and shakes her head.
ew. peanut butter and raw tortillas? weeeeird.

my brother leans back on his chair and replies,
maybe you’re the weird one.

what? i’ve been eating tortillas my whole life.

actually, my brother says, crossing his arms,
maybe that’s how they eat their tortillas, and
you were the one eating it wrong this whole time.
even my mom.

my sister rolls her eyes.
but it was my tortilla before it was theirs.

fool’s gold

the delivery of glazed promises
in somber pink, clear-top boxes
confirmed your devotion to
relieving all those years
of hunger pains that
i thought you could heal.

the colorful assortments of sweets
you’ve given me lately
form itchy, red love mounds
on my skin and ease those
cravings for tenderness.

self-proclaimed nourishment
beats deprivation–
a self-coerced affirmation.

healthy breakfast recipe

The following ingredients may be modified to your liking.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
4 tbsp of fine ground coffee
1 cup of whole milk
1 tsp of baking powder
A pinch of artificial sweetener

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To preheat, massage temples with warm fingertips.

In a large mixing bowl, spread the brown sugar over yesterday’s memories to sweeten. Then, drizzle vanilla extract on brown sugar and knead ingredients together until the mixture becomes thick and firm. Add coffee to heighten sensations of self-awareness and expression. Pour milk to fortify the skeleton of your ambitions and aspirations. Use baking powder to froth over the aforementioned with humor.

Use an electric mixer, set on low, to blend. Add artificial sweetener to enhance vigilance. Once blended to your liking, spread consistency over today’s goals. Bake for 5 minutes, until the day becomes golden brown.

being in love (with food)

my hunger for you
awakens me from deep sleeps and
your scent guides me through new york labyrinths
revealing different versions
of your skin.

my lips touch
your unexplored, untouched surface
and we climax.

you leave me afterwards
but i feel like i no longer need you.
until five hours pass,
then i lust for you.

we begin, we end, i forget, i need
i don’t mind this fickle romance.

who knew shrimp cocktails
or crispy chicken sandwiches
would outlast the casanovas
of our century