Winter 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1994 |

In the Small Rooms

Under the big house, above the pool, surrounded by flowers, to the side of the sea on a bed in a room that I share with my brother is an X- marks the spot that is me. I am ten years old. I have finished the fifth grade and now know Spanish: Usted está aquí. The people we are visiting wear white every day. In the kitchen is a pantry filled with King Oscar sardines and saltine crackers from the mainland. In the living room my father teaches us the stock market with a full bowl of walnuts. We go on trips some days, my mother, father, brother, me: to a sulfur spring that turns earrings and belt buckles black, on a sailboat where we watch flying fish stitch the sea, to town to buy duty-free Chivas for my grandfather, my first wrist watch (I will later stop its time in water and tell no one), Wedgewood teacups for my mother. Tiny lizards, quick and curved as punctuation appear on the walls, sleep in our shoes, flick their tongues at us and vanish. There is a woman who cooks and a woman

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