• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 02
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If You Like It, Send Yes

I do not ask her for money
But post pictures I know she will see
The lace top, one she sent in her last barrel
I wonder if she will remember these paper bags
We had seen them in the market place near the rice vendor
where she’d cringed at the sheet of flies covering the mound of grains
“That’s why you must always clean your rice,” I joked to remind her
that all markets have their dirty secrets, but not all can afford to hide them
We had carried smoked herring and pork shoulder in these paper bags
She kept smelling the fish and smiling, giddy with some maternal memory
Matante Celia would cook it with the onions as she remembered
I pose with the bag over my head today, to fill me up
She once complimented me by saying, in America
“You’d have to walk with a bag over your head,”
I knitted my brows, confused, “You’re so beautiful,
you’d distract the passersby.” I offered her
a toothless smile