By Pat Mora
Like Sonia Sanchez and Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora attracts on oral and lyrical traditions; she reclaims the heritage and tradition of her Mexican roots, in particular genuine and imagined Mexican girls of the earlier, from a tribute to Frida Kahlo to an interview with an Aztec goddess.
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Extra resources for Agua Santa: Holy Water
In your body slides, Frida, to its last burning, bolts up in the lick of oven's hungry tongues, hair, your hair, around your face, crackles, blazes. Page 53 January in Cincinnati I unlock a cold house, quiet as its prim neighbors, rows of women still in long dresses, high-buttoned shoes, eyes downcast, lips pressed pale, flesh and dreams well-corseted, backs straight, like branches reaching for light. Above, no blue, no cloud wisps skim the winds, no storms tumble and growl, no lightning flashes and burns, no ball of light rolls the sky.
But, the blesséd fruit of my womb spits my name. I hear prostitute, puta, hooker, bitch. Try saying mamá. Tip 7: Watch your tongues. I try to hold you, to wrap my arms and hair around my children, to say, I am a daughter, abused woman, abuser, no saint, human, sold, slave, sexual woman, raped woman, invisible translator, mother Page 69 but, no virgin, never immaculate enough, never fleshless enough, never silent enough, my eyes Mexico's troubled, buried mirror. Tip 8: If you remove your mask, mirror, mirror won't lie.
My mother sold me, bundled my body off to the Maya, women and competition of piel, the flesh. Prince of a father, witch of a mother, bruja. Sound familiar? Page 66 Tip 3: Re-view folklore typology and then reread hisstory. Snakes. Mothersssss. Virgin mothers. Women who crush their own tongues. Silent women. Altared women. Tip 4: Alter the altared women. I became bilingual, learned to roll palabras in my mouth just to taste them, Page 67 chew, swallow, fruta dulce. We tasted their power and red sting, long before "English Only," fearssss of contagion from tangled lenguas, of verbal intertwinings, like the uncontrollable breedings of snakes.
Agua Santa: Holy Water by Pat Mora