- Lindo Corazón, and: Aña after the Rains
El Salvador, 2003
The day we visited the pre Columbian ruins,there were plump red fruits heavy on the trees.Little sacred hearts swaying in the breeze.Our driver, Colocho, said they were marañones,native fruit that gave cashews and juice.A single nut, he said, in the whole fruit.Colocho marveled at the tender fruit in his large calloused hand.He returned to the bus with a bag full of hearts—modern day warrior with spoils of war.
Hours later, when we returned to the bus,the sweet and pungent mist of the marañones filled everything.The night was black, heavy with ghosts and longing.But our little hearts were alive—Luminous and fitful amid the stifling darkness.The night bled bittersweet nectar and the land—long ravaged by the unforgiving machete—Was as small and resilientas a solitary cashew buried in pulp. [End Page 197]
Aña after the Rains
We find them on the walk to Kmart from my grandmother’s apartment.Large, bulbous eyes and flat brown wingssmashed by the pressure of so many rains.They are everywhere.I look up at my grandmother—her faced framed by thick white hair—and squeeze the meat of her hand.The pinch of so many questions.“This happened once. In Cuba.”The rains have brought these bugs and somehow Añathinks it inevitable that they have arrived.
I stare at the littered parking lot of the apartment building and wonderWhat plagues? What sins?Where do God’s hands come from?
Last night I dreamt we were standing at the end of a pier.I put my arms around you. It had been so long.I held you until my tears and the ocean around us were one.Until my little bed floated like a restless island,Sailing past the wreckage of my deepest shame. [End Page 198]
Laura Pichardo-Cruz was born and raised in Miami and has been a poverty lawyer for ten years. She lives in Orlando with her wife and two daughters. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.