My mom, the one they call Negra, lit candles to la Difunta Correa, a popular saint from the province of San Juan in Argentina. La Difunta lost her life to the elements, but her infant son was still able to nourish himself for three days, thus saving his life.
I might wake at night and use the walls to find the kitchen, which would be bathed in this hemoglobin-red, Catholic-red, lugubrious candle light. And, propped on the candle: a devotion circle with the image of Deolinda Correa, leaning on the glass candleholder tenuously.
To be honest, at first, I was probably more titillated by the image of la Difunta Correa. Imagine my adolescent-ass ogling her supple, plump breast, which was exposed to the elements in the midnight of my kitchen. Half-asleep, half-aroused, with the refrigerator's headlights T-boned on the wall, I drank from the bottle of whatever's cold.
I wondered what type of nutrients might be in breasts; obviously, they were for more than show, breasts actually did things: they saved infants, they fed infants, they made my eyeballs feel like quicksand, they possessed super, super secret things like bras, clasps, and silky, skin-colored straps.
The important thing was that the candle not go out, and not burn the house down. I've never understand why religious people mess around with candles so much, or why religion protects the unprepared by making them naïve? But, somehow, I understand why truckers are superstitious, why their rigs are guided by Biblical passages.
While Deolinda's infant son breastfeeds the nutrients from his mother's dead body, a celestial beam of galactic halogen bathes that infant. Is the miracle that Deolinda's infant son is given the intelligence to understand how he can survive off his mother's breast milk until carriers find him? Or, is the miracle that Deolinda was carrying three days of breast milk?
Who was my mother invoking la Difunta for, who was my mother helping with prayer and a candle made of langorous, Catholic blood? I remember being old enough to understand there was something behind the candle, understanding the lit candle was just a pretense, a symbolic gesture, a futile rememberance.
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.