- There’s a stall in the Friday market in Llano Park where women get their eyebrows pruned, where some get a spare pair of eyelashes installed, or new fingernails, or a purple strand of hair adhered to her head. Though I do not deny needing an overhaul, this place makes me flinch.
- On the corner of Margarita Masa and Diaz Quintas, right off Jardin Conzatti, there’s a man in a gray cap vending beef: soup, tacos, you name it. When he has no customers, he rushes out from behind the stand to grab my arm. And kiss my hand. I go blocks out of my way to avoid his corner.
- In Teotitlan del Valle, a town where the first language is Zapotec and the majority of the residents are weavers working with wool and brilliant, natural dyes, I greet the locals in Spanish. And, while I have the words to wager over a carpet, I succumb at the first amount an artist utters though I know she expects a counter.
- I ask my Spanish teacher, after she confesses to meditating on death daily, whether she worries about being killed. She doesn’t.
- Some afternoons, Mexico is too much for me. Instead of facing what a foreigner I am here, I hunker in the posada.
I’m sure you will understand why I have selected the following small poem by Ryszard Krynicki.
I Can’t Help You
Poor moth, I can’t help you,
I can only turn out the light.
from Polish Poetry of the Last Two Decades of Communist Rule OSI: Spoiling Cannibals Fun, translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh
- Craft additional metaphors that are akin to a moth and a flame. Use these to develop a character.