Pastora was celluloid, the chanteuse of the silver screen of silent films, and larger than life. She was all the heroines who had impassioned young men in adolescent novels. She was the biology teacher of the tenth grade force to resign when she was pregnant and unwed; the pretty nun of catechism class; she was Mother’s friend who for some reason never seemed as old as Mother, who smiled at you in a way that sent goose bumps over your virginal flesh. She was that one insolent girl at your first dance who rejected you in front of your friends after you took that painfully long walk across the room to ask her out to the floor.”

She was not the enigmatic beauty of DaVinci, but the harsh enigma of nature’s ferocity over man, the thrashing of a tornado, and scorching lava of the erupting volcano, the hurricane that swept away entire villages into the sea. Awesome Coatlicue, whose severed head was replaced with two streams of blood that became serpent’s heads; the same blood that gives life demands it through war, the eternal struggle of all civilizations.”

She was an invention to make your world tolerable, an idea, not divinity itself, which is and always had been your place, sensing yourself alien to the earth. For if she were divine, she would have been no less an idea, but less than what she was at that moment, tangible. She was the blood that appeared on your penis the first time you entered a woman who was menstruating and you feared it would curse you. She was the breast that, without milk, still comforted. She was the dark tunnel through which you passed and began your first memory of this world.”

Ana Castillo, Sapagonia