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JUAN OF THE ANGELS ILoIa Haskins Sits in the dark bar. The hotel no longer pays him for the songs his fingers make on the instrument which is the marriage of his hands. Instead they bring him coca or cidral. And when the bar's shadow spiUs outside and the stars come out, they bring him beer. Every day Juan leans more deeply on his cane, but stiU he comes. Guests buy him drinks. Sometimes they stop talking. Juan plays on, talk or none. AU his melodies are hungers. One evening a boy, perhaps fourteen, comes in. The boy says nothing, Ustens with his eyes. Juan cradles his guitar. Soy gitano, he says. Gypsy. The boy, who speaks no Spanish, thinks Juan is saying his name, so he says Django and points to his own thin chest. Juan offers him the guitar, with its mouth of mother of pearl, and the smaU moons along the frets. The boy bends over. His dark hair falls across his face. He makes the song young Juan would play for the women to dance. AU night, the same strum. The women's skirts whirl around the long fires. The stars are turning pale. The boy plays on alone. 28 · The Missouri Review THE CARVER OF MASKS / Lola Haskins He works the knife. Thin shavings fall curled, with the faint smeU of burns. He is making sUts. Through such sUts one can hardly see. One is forever eight, peering through cracks at Mama's screams until his mouth is stopped by Papá's borracho hand. The mouth's a gash, a slash of blood surprise. He works faster, cuts the suggestion of a nose, two holes, like a snout. Pig, he thinks, and wipes his knife on his jeans. The Missouri Review · 29 CUANDO MORIMOS / Lola Haskins Hernán feU. He used not to be afraid climbing scaffolds, his hammer bouncing at his hip the way a woodpecker bangs a tree, used never to fear walking that high slant, his mouth studded with nails. Now we carry his box through the streets, the box in which he Ues, his hat in his hands. It is a long way out of town, and dust coats us aU. We have put on masks: birds and jaguars, the faces of moths. Hernán's is the only true face. And Hernán feU. The buUding rises which Hernán buUt. El Palacio del Gobierno it wiU be, where el señor presidente municipal wül sit, the new palacio whose roof is strong, whose air is fuU of falUng. And we wiU all of us do business in its rooms. 30 · The Missouri Review THREE VIEWS FROM THE LATIN AMERICAN SUMMIT ILoIa Haskins Guadalajara, JaUsco 1991 Important men hold forth to an ocean of campesinos with armbands and banners. Slogans fly like spray. On the edges of the crowd shoeshine boys quote prices. After, they say they meant per shoe. And foreigners pay, their faces red for their poor Spanish. ii She leans slack to the waU. One hand is out. Flies gather where her eyes ooze. A visitor in a grey suit, his belly ripe as a fat papaya, breaks his stride. She palms the coins. Her hand is empty. Her hand has always been empty. iii In the Plaza del Catedral they have sandblasted the nudes which shine fresh green, their instruments in their arms. The unswept sand crunches underfoot. At any moment a wave may break, here over this city, hundreds of mUes from the coast. The Missouri Review · 31 EL CAFEILoIa Haskins Stone arches frame the table where a man has joined MeUnda. She does not know him. They order coffee. He sets his briefcase down, rests one hand on the table. The hand is a furred spider, the kind that Uves under wood. Once there was a hurricane off the coast, such blowing rain, such wind, that the avocados that lined the hüls were blasted from their roots. After, she went with Papá to see. He roUed a downed branch, Uke a body, with his foot, and from it there crawled such a spider. The coffee comes, in tiny cups. She adds...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 28-33
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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