Crack the Spine - Issue 69

Page 16

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura Lemons and Peppers

Lemons are yellow and round today. Not oval like the rants that screw our minds to surface in jealous rages. In Colombia all were limones—yellow or green. I tell my mother “amarillo,” Hold a lemon to her nose. “I changed your diaper,” she reminds me. I sing until she falls asleep. When Mom could walk, my husband asked, Señora, how do you say peppers in Spanish? “Peppers!” she said. The accent of a woman in two countries. The hottest peppers are female, more vibrant than hibiscus pink, or purple orchids. The surrounding ferns are green. “Peppers?” he asks today. The nursing home’s age dust or the mistaken lime of disinfectants makes Mom sneeze. Her hands twist on her lap—vines past season.