Eyes of Zapata

We drag these bodies around with us, these bodies that have nothing at all to do with you, with me, with who we really are, these bodies that give us pleasure and pain. Though I’ve learned to abandon mine at will, it seems to me we never free ourselves completely until we love, when we lose ourselves inside each other. Then we see a little of what is called heaven. When we can be something bigger than our lives.
And we can forgive, finally.
It was the season of rain. All night I listened to that broken string of pearls, bead upon bead rolling across the waxy leaves of my heart. I lived with that heartsickness inside me, as if the days to come did not exist. And when it seemed the grief would not let me go, I wrapped one of your handkerchiefs around a dried hummingbird, went to the river, whispered Virgencita, ayudame, kissed it, then tossed the bundle into the waters where it disappeared for a moment before floating downstream in a dizzy swirl of foam.
That night, my heart circled and fluttered against my chest, and something beneath my eyelids palpitated so furiously, it wouldn’t let me sleep.
I passed the night in a delirious circle of sadness, of joy, reeling round and round above our roof of dried sugarcane leaves, the world as clear as if the noon sun shone…

Sandra Cisneros
(Eyes of Zapata)

“Sandra Cisneros knows both that the heart can be broken and that it can rise and soar like a bird. The women in her stories offer tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite wisdom….Whatever stories she chooses to tell, we should be listening for a long time to come.”

Washington Post
Book World

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