Available from Wings Press, San Antonio.
ISBN 0-930324-67-6 paper $16.00
ISBN 0-930324-73-0 hardback $22.95
"Fishlight is a gentle, beautiful book, a rare and poetic song from an exquisitely melancholy childhood, written with heartbreaking innocence and a great love of life. It is original, poignant, profoundly simple and unforgettable." John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War
There was a little house, just an ordinary house. It had everything inside: it had a bed, and a table, and a dryer to hang the wash out over the stove, and every time the water boiled, the shirts would wave their crazy arms, my father's long johns shook and shimmied, and my mother's white opera gloves played the piano till the fingers glowed red over the gas jets.
Inside his room you could see my father reading his book till he nodded in his chair and when he fell asleep the pages would flutter and turn over on his lap. In the kitchen you could see my mother shelling peas and getting dinner ready.
When my mother called him to supper, my father woke up with a snort. His head would snap back on his neck the way it was supposed to, and the pages of his book would stop turning over and smooth themselves flat. He would close the book with a bang and slip it in the dark place where he hid things under his easy chair, and when he stood up the world didn't go backwards anymore. But when he went in the kitchen, his chair sucked in all the lamp light till it swelled up like my mother's bread dough, only in the kitchen, my father got so little, my mother had to tie his napkin under his chin so he could eat. He kept banging on the table with his spoon till my mother brought him his Portuguese sardines. She had to open all the tins for him, but she cut herself every time because the tins never had any keys. She was always licking the blood off her thumb.
I was small enough to get inside the house, but they didn't know which house I was inside of, the big house, or the little house.
Cecile Pineda reads an excerpt from Fishlight, June, 2014: http://youtu.be/ki8YyYPJDLk