“Juliana Aragón Fatula writes histories so terrifying they feel as if they were written with a knife. She writes with craft and courage about what most folks are too ashamed to even think about, let alone talk about. Her fearlessness is inspirational. This is the kind of poetry I want to read; this the kind I want to write. She makes me feel like writing poetry!” —Sandra Cisneros
From Crazy Chicana in Catholic City:
Mom once took a bullet for a cookie.
Grandma had an apron full of cherries.
Auntie hung the wash.
Lee fed the chickens. Zeke
cleaned his rifle. Mom
searched the cupboards. She was only
three feet tall. She stood on the sink,
tried to reach high in the sky
for oatmeal cookies. Crack – like
a lightening bolt had hit a cottonwood
tree. Her blood was everywhere: on the
cupboards, floor, cookies, hands.
Grandma ran down the hill but she fell.
She rolled, she rolled, she rolled;
just like a tortilla. She ran in the house
saw Zeke had wrapped
mom’s legs in torn sheets while mom
ate cookies. The bullet went in the left
leg, out the back, and through the right leg,
four holes, total. That’s why you should never
clean a rifle in the house: bloody cookies.