Oh! It happened with the first naked, helpless chicken in the oven I recognized… Mommy, get it out, let it out, I cried… chickens have their own heaven, my mother lied.
At six, I dressed as Saint Teresa of Avila for Halloween… that year, I felt sinful accepting candy. More than anything, I yearned to bless their dear hands moving with generosity toward my outstretched pillowcase.
Later, I tried bright blue skin, leading my perfumed cows to drink. I wore robe of scarlet and gold, a red galero atop my head. I wore fragrant saffron in my hair, eating nothing except fruit from the ground, sweeping the earth bare before my steps… with a broom I made myself.
I danced in green meadows, wrapped ribbons around a Maypole, reached high for a golden ring. I sank into plushy new grass. Once more, the earth herself said to me, you will be all right, you will always be all right, as I lay upon her — a small, breakable doll. I lay on my mother like that (like that) (like that) (like that) for hours, eyes shut, and felt her words eternal lift off the roof of my skull and cleanse me of my fear and shame like fast-running, silvery water.