Memories from Gaviota
I hear Jamaica Kincaid on the radio with Michael Rosenblatt today and they were talking about writing strings of memories. Here you go.
Sitting underneath the weeping branches of a California pepper tree, spice in the air, serrated lacy leaves hiding me from everyone, seed pods on the branches like tiny pink balloons.
The wind so hard in the afternoon, the sea a plain of broken glass and white foam, blown sand caught and gritting in my back teeth.
Riding a homemade scooter with my brothers and sisters, putt-putting around the road, afraid of burning my leg on the lawnmower engine under the plank board seat.
Making lizard leashes by making loops in the ends of weeds and then trying to catch lizards to walk on the leashes.
Dad sitting in the kitchen, his stocking feet propped on the oven door, slicing off pieces of cheese with a worn pocket knife and eating them on saltines.
Melting crayons in the sun out on the tarry bank, colors flowing into the black.
A king snake kept in a trash can briefly as a pet.
Mom yelling “Yoo Hoo,” which meant “Come in the house.”
Our big black cat, Tinkerbell staring down Buddy, the boxer dog next door.
The fathers standing around a car with the hood open, repairing and drinking beers and smoking and laughing.
Sheets of lightning at night over the sea, flashing the islands into view with terrifying, bright clarity.
Standing at school, facing home, my fingers woven in the cyclone fence, wishing to be back with my mom.