The cactus pears were sweet.
A pain in the ass to peel,
with all the spikes.
Had to use lots of hardware.
Gloves, knives, forks and pliers.
It was like doing surgery.
Dangerous on the outside,
but sweet on the inside.
“Like me”, thought Lizette.
She peeled two
and sliced them.
Took them to bed.
Got under the covers
and turned on the tv.
Ate a slice,
it reminded her of her childhood,
Hot August night,
Abuela peeling a whole
basket full of them.
For Papi to make wine.
Her phone buzzed.
Texts from him and two others.
She ate a third slice,
it tasted just like summer.
He could wait,
it had been almost 3 hours
since she had heard from him.
“Start small with your toe in the water.
This company is going to be very special.”
At the same time she was
working a side voodoo.
You know, just in case.
It’s called the “Beef Tongue Shut Up Hoodoo Spell”
Step 1: Get a beef tongue.
Step 2: Slit open the tongue, down the middle.
Step 3: Say the name of the person you want to shut up.
Step 4: Say the following spell, “I cross and cover you,
come under my command. I command you to hold your tongue.”
Step 5: Cut off a piece of the tongue,
put it in a mason jar with a piece of paper
with the name of the prosecutor.”
“What’s the worst case scenario?” asked Lizette.
“You lose a few bucks.
It’s not like you lose your dignity.”
“She was beautiful,” Carmine said. “Since we were kids, she always liked me. I knew how to make her laugh.”
“Her boyfriend was a wiseguy. He and his crew, they were young,
we were all young, maybe twenty five or twenty six.”
“Whenever he went off to jail, she’d come over and knock on my door.
She’d say ‘Let’s party!’. She liked doing heroine.”
“He was crazy jealous. Whenever he got out, I’d disappear,
make myself scarce.”
“One time he gets out and he sees my best friend, Izzie, talking to her.
Next thing you know, he and his crew jump out of a car and they beat him
within an inch of his life. He spent two months in the hospital. He was never the same.”
“He got sent back to jail for that. And Lizette comes knocking on my door.
I wasn’t going to answer this time, but I couldn’t say no to her.”
“So, one day, I’m riding the Staten Island ferry to work
and there he is, with his goons. They all walk up to me and surround me.
I looked him straight in the eye and said, “Hey, Joey.”
“I don’t know why, I wasn’t afraid. He shakes my hand and they all
just walk away. Fucking miracle. That was God working in my life.
He knew I was making time with her while he was on the inside.”
Chuletas for breakfast with avocado and lime.
Flaco kicked the screen door open.
“Da me lo.” he said.
“Da me ahora mismo.”
Lizette looked sideways.
“Go and get it. No one’s stopping you.”
He picked up the drums and they came alive.
He could turn on a room in an East Harlem minute.
For smooth full-leg penetration, tight grip and all ‘round fastening satisfaction at office and home insist on Wilson Jones staplers and bright steel staples.
“Huh” thought Lizette.
Reaching for her lipstick (Lady Danger, vivid bright coral red).
Smacking her lips and noticing Bob from accounting whose shirt seemed
tighter than usual.
“Someone’s been working out.”
That’s the actual copy on a box of Wilson Jones staples. It was so hilarious I decided to turn it into a prompt. A bit over the top, I know.
Her sister said that she could tell by his face that he was going to get fat when he got older.
“That’s a terrible thing to say.” said Lizette.
“You like him.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Yes, you do, you like him.”
“He’s like 20 and he’s gay.”
“He’ll always be skinny.”
“I knew it!”
The Frenchman was convinced that Lizette was his.
Confident pushed his impulsive heart.
He had to ask even though they had only just met.
The hummingbird hovered above him, (how did it get inside)?
“Voulez vous diner avec moi, ce soir?”
“No, désolée, je ne peux pas…”
She tried to think of a French excuse.
Said Lizette, wistfully.
Referring to the farmer who fancied her and delivered grass fed for her broth.
But she could also have been talking about her grandfather or father.
“The sins of the fathers” and such.
Sometimes, it’s more nuanced, not sins or virtues, just genetic fabric on which to build her empire of longing.