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89 22 poetry As the playwright savored his chocolate, which was spiced with vanilla , he thought about the nun who greeted him the day before. There was un no sé qué about her. Her allure was distinctive yet hard to understand. For this sister Adela possessed not the perfect profile of the sister Isabela, the one who brought him food and drink, nor Isabela’s delectable, tiny-waisted figure. Adela’s physicality was pleasing , not remarkable. Neither short and petite nor tall and broad. She was thin with a small bosom. He supposed it was her very purity and, perhaps even more, her unattainability that counted for his interest. He put his cup on the table, stood up and went to his bed. He lay down and pictured her face once more. It was oval, slightly olive in complexion. The face of a maja, an actress. A visage whose features could change to meet the altering moods of a day. Large brown eyes, almond-shaped, with darker lashes still, full black lashes. And eyebrows that tapered to a wisp. Her cheekbones were fine and high, lending a slightly Oriental cast to her prettiness. And she had the smallest, reddest mouth he had ever seen. A puckered tiny pillow of softness. He could imagine kissing those lips well. Her long neck led Lori Marie Carlson () 90 to what beneath? He wondered if her breasts were fuller than they appeared. And what was beyond those breasts? Gracious hips? There was drama in her presence and something more than that; something that hinted of unquenchable desire. He reached for his pen and the paper at his side and scribbled down some notes. In order to best use this woman in his drama he must change the script, allowing for her character to shine beyond all others. Yes, he decided, she would take the role of seductress. Two tentative knocks interrupted his musings. “Who is there?” he asked. “It is I, Isabela. Señor de Vigo, is there anything you might need?” “No, all is fine. The chocolate was very good. Thank you,” he answered , amused. “Is lunch served soon?” “Soon, Señor de Vigo. And today we have lamb roast. Do you like it?” “Very much.” “Ah, good. So, I will bring a tray to you after the noon hour.” “Fine, indeed.” And then he heard the lovely Isabela sneeze before she said, “Hasta muy pronto, entonces, Señor de Vigo.” He sat down in a large stuffed chair and picked up his notebook. He felt inspired and began his first canción for Adela. The stanza came effortlessly. In your name so white Paloma is the purity of heaven and the angels angel that you are not woman When he had finished the last line of the third stanza, he took the page and blotted it. Then, he placed the poem in a drawer. The bell tolled 11:00 a.m. Looking out his window, he saw that the day would be fair. He decided to take a stroll around the grounds, to observe the sisters at their work. What exactly did the bishop’s sister say at the tribunal? He looked at the incriminating notes, which he kept in a small black pouch. “The sisters of Saint Margaret are a A Stitch in Air () 91 deceptive order. There is witchery and frivolity in that convent. Most egregious is their passion for the bath. Their ablutions are daily and done in a room of large stone basins. They heat and perfume their water. They love money and only make their lace for the comforts that come with the success of their fineries. They do not praise God as they ought. They are idolaters. A very disgrace to the one true faith. And one among them, the young Adela, consorts with magic. It is believed that she works with amulets and incantations in the hidden darkness of her hermitage. (The nun Dulzura also knows this. It was she who alerted me to this sordid truth.) And . . . I have witnessed this with my very own eyes: several of the nuns refuse to eat ham or bacon. And one more thing. They tried to poison me with tainted wine.” Well, he would see for himself what truths or untruths lay in such accusations. He reached for his cloak, fastened it with a broach and hastened down the staircase. As he reached the corridor that ran the length of the first floor, he turned left and...


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