La Liberación de los Candelabros/The Deliverance of Chandeliers
Chantel Louise Tattoli
Now chandeliers hang in her adult rooms, like rhinestone earrings
dripping from ceilings.
Most don't work, they aren't plugged in, but during the course of the
day some of them starburst arco iris onto the white walls. Which is
better than if they were
plugged. Most of all Hilda likes to come home and slap them with a
broom. An idea she got from a minor earthquake, when she didn't get
into a doorway, just stood beneath them listening, some of their
tentacles dropping onto her head like arms throwing punches.
Hilda was twenty the first time. She came up the stairs of her parents'
house and stashed an iced jellyfish under her bed. Otherwise, the bed's
honor was unspoiled; the worst, some cockatiel shit in the decorative
etches of wheat, from when Bembe would sleep on the headboard, preen,
and quote her mother's telenovelas. (With his highlighter orange cheeks
and highlighter yellow mohawk, the highlighter pink she painted his
talons, the bird looked like a travestido—you couldn't take
They pried into The Palm with backpacks full of flashlights, beer, and
snack provisions. By now, the hotel had been defunct for years. Nice
white people didn't come to that neighborhood anymore.
Hilda spread a blanket and sat with her legs folded under her, not bowed
like the other girls.
lady! Her friends were such
you bring flatware, too? I like to eat Cheetos with an oyster fork.
He jutted his pinky, which didn't make sense so the joke was on him.
But she got up and walked away.
hurt her feelings, desgraciado!
mami. Lo siento!
The same tone as their catcalling.
Hilda pulled up the fixture by its chain and when she dropped it, it chinked
back into a dusty tangle. At home, how much did she like its tinkling,
lowering its crystal points to the wooden floor?
The chandelier crawled into bed with her that night, and she awoke from
the sharp impress of its prisms on her thigh. She kicked it off and it
went crashing to the floor. Hilda would have played that game of crawl
and kick all night if she knew it wouldn't have woken her family up.
Instead she locked it in her closet, and by the morning it had folded
her clothes in neat piles. For that helpfulness she shook the
chandelier for almost an hour.
Her abuela said she loves the sound of glass breaking because a rock
came through the window during Hilda's baptism. The abuela shook her
think you is Dios speaking.
Chantel Louise Tattoli has work in or coming from Redivider, PANK, Necessary Fiction, For Every Year and others.
To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/201011chandeliers.htm
Detail of photo on main page courtesy
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