My faery mother, Aurora, liked to siphon the rich beauty out of milk, leaving us with just the whiteness.
Aurora would buy beads to string me bracelets, but she’d steal the brightness from the colors.
She sapped the juice out of papayas, the bite out of peppers.
What she robbed, worse than all that, was the strength from my father’s bones. Tonight I fried bean cakes with shrimp and sliced pineapple as tender as butter—he didn’t touch any of it. He claims that only the touch of my mother will save him. I scream that it’s been three years since she left us, and in faery time two months equal two hundred years, and you do the math, I’m weary of it, she’s a sprite, a firefly, a belch of swamp gas, an accordion made of sparks that you grasp in both hands and squeeze to hear music, but she explodes in your face. Aurora was born in water; the rain makes Papa wonder if she’s splintering into an army of needles hailing down on him.