Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Sound of Sugar....Natalia Treviño

Tortilla Skins

In the hot light of your kitchen, ‘Uelita, you showed me how to
press the thick dough against your popping, aluminum table. Your
hands the size of the tortillas to come, willing the mass to open
as soft disk. My hands too small to maneuver, to stretch over it,
to pull the dry powder in. I was fifteen and knew you were happy.
Years after ‘Buelito had died, you a new kind of woman. Certain eyes.
Laughing, traveling, playing cards. Able to wake and say no, to skip
the heat of the day to cook the midday meal. Bake a cake instead, at
night. Crochet and smoke at the same time. Speak up around men.
Accept a small glass of beer. The dough as cool as your hands, your
red fingernails disappearing into the ball. Would you remarry? I
ask. You are quick to answer. Yes, it is ugly to live alone. Your fingers
have memorized this motion, this touch. All I can think is how the
wives in Mexico flail in sick waters, in tired, wakeful oceans, choppy
white crests salting their faces, silenced and gasping by the slap of
spray. Romantic novella endings kneaded into the eyes and ears of
daughters, spiteful neighborhood chisme, the sealing orders from
men, sons, brothers, husbands. The lines on your face, Uelita, deep
like the folds of the dough in your hands. The portraits in your
living room, bridal framed faces, faint as shells at the end of flat
beach, stripped of color by the brine of dry sunlight, waiting for
the tide to soak them, turn them, or swallow them. Bone exposed at the
back of the neck, you bend to your yes. And we press our tortilla
skins to the heat, their faces down, to cook them.

About the Poet:

Born in Mexico City, Natalia grew up in Texas where her mother taught her Spanish and Bert and Ernie gave her lessons in English. Natalia has won several awards for her poetry and fiction including the 2004 Alfredo Moral de Cisneros Award, the 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the 2012 Literary Award from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio. Currently, Natalia is an assistant professor of English at Northwest Vista College where she works with students of all levels.

About the Sound of Sugar:
We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.