Ancestors Living in Casitas

Ancestors Living in Casitas
by vanessa carlisle
The first time Wendy gave in to José she had, in what should have been her moment of rapture, the peculiar sensation that she was being judged by hundreds of his matrilineal ancestors who thought she was bony, pasty, and devoid of soul, and when she confessed this to him, confusedly trying to articulate how she had felt the gaze of his dead grandmother, great-grandmother, and so on, while his living breath filled the hollow of her collar bone, he told her, “Don’t worry about them,” and he proceeded to remove from the wall seven small ceramic dioramas of perfect Colombian homes and storefronts, all hand-painted and brought with him from Bogotá, which he lay in a row face down on the floor while whispering in their windows and doors, “Por favor, abuelitas, I need this woman,” his muscled hands lightly touching each one, and then he turned smiling to Wendy, who was nude and propped up on her elbows, wide-eyed with the terrible honor of being chosen, and José kissed her toes, which no one had ever done before; so, breathing the hot smell of their shared pillowcase, Wendy let her muscles loosen like oily ribbons under his certainty, mistaking her gratitude for love.

2 thoughts on “Ancestors Living in Casitas

  1. I was held throughout. I am well sold on rooting for the abuelitos. Mistaken pity for love is worse so she does have a measure of redemption.
    They have only the one pillow between them. I smell trouble in that case. Did she bring the pillow? Or is it his?

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