Between the bed and the window, in that space that smells roses and rien que pour toi, the morning let’s her hair down. She is so close that I can reach her skin with the tip of my fingers.
I know, his book and the fame it brought him. The book in which he made me — the me that he imagined — the main character.
He was fascinated by the purple of my makeup and the yellows of my cobra who used to erect the upper portion of her body to greet him every time he visited.
I do not know what demons he tried to exorcise. In the heat of those summer afternoons, he used to sip his sangria and attempt to find almost religious justifications for what he called my ecstatic existence; an existence populated with the richness and succulence of the Mediterranean literature and void of bullet points.
His acute shyness and his need to overcome the incapacity to love beyond nightly adventures used to ring in my ears like some unhinged marimba lamenting the loss of a pipe.
The dress that I wear in page twenty-seven. That dress and the heart-shaped red stone pierced with a hole for suspension I used to wrap around my neck. I found that stone in a church yard. I was too young. Perhaps an older version of me would have made him a better writer. Do not laugh. You are too handsome when you laugh.
In the end he managed to do something special. He invented the name of a perfume and made me wear it in every page of his book: rien que pour toi.
I hid his book somewhere in the library. Yet, every morning, in the space between the bed and the window, it still smells rien que pour toi.
Excerpt from my new manuscript of love poems and short prose.
“I, Miguel Julian Veracruz, take you to be my wife until the end of my life and beyond. I swear on the true cross of my ancestors who endured famine, who fought hurricanes, who sailed their ships through darkness and light into the vastness of the ocean, bible in one hand and sword in the other, to love you until the end of all worlds. My ancestors killed. May my love for you wash the blood from their hands. My ancestors burned down temples. May the fire of my love for you redeem them. May […]
Say yes, Clara, say yes, please!”
Miguel’s words cut the sky in two. The green of his eyes looked exactly like that of his Maria de Guadalupe medallion which he never took off. That beautiful silver Spanish ring, a family heirloom, worn by his mother on the fourth finger of her right hand, appeared on his palm out of nowhere.
Lightning struck the waters. A whirlpool of colors flamed the boat; the air was spinning around me like a tornado let lose over the face of the earth. My breathing stopped. I thought I was imagining everything.
Jacques asked in that deep, unmistakable voice of his.
“Where were you Clara?”
“In Miguel’s boat on the waters of the Atlantic. In the beginning it looked like an ordinary Sunday afternoon. Miguel ordered the boat out. I thought it was odd that he was not sailing it. He hired a captain whose wife cooked dinner, set the table, and brought a bunch of papers for us. I did not know what they were.”
“What did you say, Clara?”
Excerpt from the manuscript “Glass Lovers” (draft) @short-prose-fiction