Agua Santa: Holy Water by Pat Mora

By Pat Mora

Like Sonia Sanchez and Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora attracts on oral and lyrical traditions; she reclaims the historical past 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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The shadow on the ceiling, a shape older than memory smelling of caves not fields, of death, teeth, blood, the furred center, flying mouth open, through my house. All day the sightless body hid, hung in some dark space in the kitchen, dreaming as coffee brewed, of spreading its full self, at dusk gliding blackness again through every room. I didn't hear, though they did warn me, those dark, kindly creatures, the summer my father died. Page 12 Corazón del corrido 1 En la frontera de Tejas, miren lo que ha sucedido, venían los mexicanos, buscaban lo prometido.

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. Tip 5: Remember: monolinguals know about linguistics like atheists know about theology.

Beware. Goddesses fade in and out of fashion. Como la flor de rosa. Como el arco iris. Como las nubes de gloria. Como la luna espléndida.  Now I'm moon-rider in repose, body concealed in flowing cocoon, hands, mouth, eyes folded, cloaked in stars. Hijas, consistent trappings can release us for internal work. Como la flor de rosa. Como el arco iris. Como las nubes de gloria. Como la luna espléndida. Page 72 You analyze the persistence of my image, how I don't fade.  A muse amused, I am used everywhere, auto-shops, buses, bars, slender mother but virgen pura, no Malinche.

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