Monday, February 07, 2005


(From the Arturo Fuente Short Story Collection)
She wore a red dress from Paris, hand tailored for her by a little Belgian girl whose Swiss wristwatch kept perfect time.

She drove an Italian automobile with Corinthian leather seats and an engine built by a German man whose Jewish family had hidden in Fascist Italy during the second World War.

She smoked silk-cut tobacco from the Dominican Republic, rolled on papers crafted in Mexico. Her Japanese lighter was filled with butane that had originated in the deserts of the Middle East.

She ate Chinese delicacies with chopsticks and never dropped a grain of yellow rice. She enjoyed Russian caviar on Danish crackers. She sipped purified Amazonian water from a bottle hand-blown in Brazil.

Over her bed hung a Native American dreamcatcher, and it worked. She had only good dreams of happy times, prosperity, pale boys, fine French wines, and dancing to Austrian polkas.

Her right thigh bore the scar left by an allergic reaction she had suffered from a sting by a Portuguese Man-o-War. The scar was shaped like Africa.

She had a Swede’s blonde hair, and green Irish eyes rimmed by Egyptian kohl. She had warm Moroccan skin, and pouting Persian lips, the long and graceful legs of a Russian prima ballerina, and the nimble fingers of a Czechoslovakian pianist.

Sometimes, she looked at me like I wasn’t there.

And sometimes, she looked at me like I was all the world and the sky in which it lolled, like every language issued from the roots of my tongue, and the universe beyond was in my eyes, and I was one of her good and righteous dreams.

She was my American girl.

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