The woman asked the baker for a cake in the shape of a lion’s head. He refused. There were no lions in the land that she came from. She asked for a cake in the shape of a daffodil, he refused. A lion is too majestic to be eaten alive he told her and a daffodil is too delicate to be consumed in fire. The woman opened her hand and burned a cake in her palm in the shape of two lion heads, one on top of the other, and when the man reached his finger out to taste the cake, the woman was a flutter in daffodil stems that speckled his hair and eyes and left traces in his leather apron for an eternity.
The rat mother asked why the boy had a purple ribbon over his eyes if he was already dead. His hair was a string stitched black to the moon, his hands crossed over his chest in the way of his ancestors, the ones that walked the Tejano ghost path before him. The rat mother knew that if he had the ribbon over his eyes, he wouldn’t be able to walk down the stairs to his queen. She touched his face and then bid me to do the same, and we both said goodbye to our boy.
The daffodil garden had grown angry with the jaguar because she had abandoned them for three days. She strolled amongst the petals, letting each and every thorn bite and gnaw of her paws. She was startled when she found one purple chrysanthemum mewing among them. She plucked the flower and set it in the warm water of the fountain, in the pulse of the garden, and she lapped up the blood that seeped from the chrysanthemum, and it tasted sweet like berries. It had been born in her absence and only knew adoration, and so there it bloomed all night, in the highest bruise.
Monique Quintana is the Senior Beauty and Fashion Editor at Luna Luna Magazine and a pop culture contributor at Clash Media. She blogs about Latinx Literature at her site, Blood Moon and her prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Queen Mob’s Tea House, Winter Tangerine, Huizache, and The Acentos Review. You can find her at moniquequintana.com Her novella, Cenote City, is forthcoming from Clash Books in 2019.