“These memories of odors from the past are recovered by closing our eyes.” (136)
I had sensitive eyes.
I closed them when she cooked.
There were always lots of deep smells coming from our tiny kitchens,
smells like cheese, grilllled
smells of peas, soup I never enjoyed
smells of tomatoes, roasted by the sun, roasted by her pans
smells that got in my eyes and would push me out the door, begging for crisp air
air that soothed my eyes, relief from the oil that thickly smoked, filling our rooms, our clothes.
The payoff was always sweet, sopapillas drizzled in warm honey, mmm
bringing home the taste of trips to new mexico for time with grandpa.
Once they caused a fire,
the kitchen lit up like the orange summer sky
my heart jumped out of my throat,
my eyes lit up with fear
grabbed the baby and raced my young feet out the back door.
we laughed afterward for hours, on the warm concrete, swimming in the story.
Our sweet home sopapilla fire, catching the eye of our hearts.
I am re-introduced to the memories of my ethnicity when i close my eyes to the thought of the smokey oil wafting into my bedroom, belly warmed by the thought of mom in the kitchen, preparing our favorite foods.
This universe of warmth is forgotton, fogged by time, by distance. Becoming weaker and weaker is my voice, is my connection to this warmth. But forever am I awoken by the smells of southwestern food when I close my eyes. Finding a world of intensity melding into warmth, melding into happy bellies, melding into fire, melding into laughter with loved ones.