Puerto Del Sol

"What I Know" in Puerto del Sol.

And I believe in candlelit kitchens and rooms thick with wood smoke and the smell of roast chicken cooked in olives and salads hefty with burnt walnuts, sliced apples and vinegar; fresh bread folded with pesto and seeds; dark wine staining the painted juice glasses she collected out of nostalgia, out of love for her mother, a drunk, whose tin bangles shook when she stirred her guests’ martoonis.

She taught me ritual, my mother says.

Ritual is legacy, is habit. The histories we carry in our wrists, our kneecaps.

I listen to my mother reading from behind a closed door.

There’s no privacy in this house, we complain, you can hear everything.

But she never builds ceilings beneath the beams.


That one February we walked around the bend on the frozen creek through the snow, past shuttered cabins and silent black train tracks, and came back to the house as the sun was setting, with soaked jean hems and soggy boots and scarves damp from humid breathing. We hung up our clothes in the shower and over kitchen chairs, but nothing dried. Not really.