Message to Readers

I'm worried that this piece might be too confusing, so I would appreciate any comments on that.

Flor Africana

August 9, 2020

Mara’s mother cast the ashes and Lelo vanished behind the Malecón. Then the ocean was the sky.
    Mara’s uncle said, “You’re pale.”
    “No, lost. Home disappeared into the sea. He bounded me to Cuba after I’d moved to Manhattan.” 
    The fat wind carried the ocean and Mara smelled her grandfather’s porch in Santa Fe Beach. There they’d sink their faces into his backyard mangos, they’d dance to Dizzy, Chano, Omara. There she and her cousins would run from Lelo as he chased them with the garden hose, watermelon popsicles splattering onto the pavement. Lelo had stayed in the wind. 


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  • avoiding the big bang

    i think what was confusing is that there’s a bit of typo with tenses in “they’d dance,” which sounds like they’re about to dance rather than like they’d already done it; i think you mean “they’d danced”? great job on this piece!

    2 months ago
  • avoiding the big bang

    this piece is vague and it requires some dissecting. in a way it's confusing, but i think that the confusion aspect is valuable; it requires readers to dig deeper into the message and spend more time reading. there are maybe a couple of places where the vagueness is a bit tricky, and you might want to revisit - for example, i thought that the first sentence implied lelo's death (?) as his ashes are being cast, but he appears later chasing cousins, so unless it's a flashback i'd recommend rephrasing to make the meaning clearer.

    2 months ago
  • rainandsonder

    i don't find it too confusing at all! i actually really like how it's a bit more abstract, especially those opening lines, "Mara’s mother cast the ashes and Lelo vanished behind the Malecón. Then the ocean was the sky." it's straightforward and yet carries such a depth, and draws you into the piece instantly. the only thing is that where it says "he bounded me to cuba", i think you meant "bound" since bound is already a past-tense word? excellent work here, best of luck in the contest!

    2 months ago