Having Recently Escaped from the Maws of a Deathly Life, I Am Ready to Begin the Year Anew | Sandra Cisneros | Granta

Having Recently Escaped from the Maws of a Deathly Life, I Am Ready to Begin the Year Anew

Sandra Cisneros

For the New Year I will buy myself a chocolate eclair filled
with custard. Eat it slowly, with an infinity of joy, without
concern of woe and tight underwear.

Susan’s mother was directed by her doctor to cut down on
salami or risk death. ‘But, doctor,’ she said, ‘is life worth
living without salami?’

For my new year I will sit down in the sun and dunk in
my coffee a little knob of bread hard as my elbow, and on
it, without concern for cholesterol, I will spread delicious
butter, the kind that reminds me of Mexico City’s Café La
Blanca on Calle Cinco de Mayo, or the clinking glasses of El
Gran Café de la Parroquia in Veracruz.

I will snooze with my dogs till I radiate love, for they are life’s
true gurus. I will wake gently so as not to disturb the dreams
that have alighted overnight on the branches of sleep, and
before they flutter away on soundless wings, I will examine
and admire each.

This season of my escape, I will push my foot down on the
accelerator of my life, vámonos vobiscum, and hurry to sit
under a tree with a book thicker than a dozen homemade
. Henceforth, I will read only for pleasure or

All toxic folk are to be excised from the remaining days of my
life, the
chupacabras and chupacabronas, who are a purgatory
of pain.

I will allow myself the luxury to laugh daily and in liberal
doses to overbalance the bitter compost called the news.

I will cease waiting for someone to do something about the
war, the walls, the guns, the drugs, the stupidity of leaders,
and ally myself with citizens who practice the art of tossing
their shoes at heads of state.

There is much I know and much I do not know as a woman at
fifty-six, but I am certain I know this. Life is not worth living
without salami.


Image © BLOB (Physarum polycephalum)


Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, writer, performer and artist. A new collection of her poetry, Woman Without Shame, is forthcoming from Knopf.

Photograph © Keith Dannemiller

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