BRUJERIA

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BRUJERIA

Carmen is seeing things again.
 
The oil drips from the walls; she swipes the grease onto her hands and tells me:
 
“Mira, Estoy Unjida.”
 
 “Look, I am anointed.”
 
God has always been her favorite lubricant.
 
On occasion you can hear her bones creak a glory hymn.
She will sing along with her breaking skeleton.
 
Carmen is not crazy.
She will tell you that she is just recovering from the neighbors’ witchcraft. 
 
She says they have a voodoo doll that they have also named Carmen.
 
Later, the doctors would call it Schizophrenia. Carmen scoffs at this diagnosis.
 
Carmen would call it “los nervios.”
An epidemic only Latin women suffer from.
 
Something only women with pins in their body would understand.

© Elizabet Velasquez. Published by permission in Centro Voices on 24 April 2015.

Centro Voices (ISSN: 2379-3864).
The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of Centro Voices, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies or Hunter College, CUNY.