Lumen Magazine, “a project for (and by!) women-identified folks,” has just published their inaugural issue, and I’m so excited to have my poem be a part of it. Besides it being a beautifully bright page filled with strong female voices, the editors gave me the rare opportunity to post a photo of my great-grandparents along with my poem. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to honor my family in this way.
For those curious, cascarones are confetti eggs, or hallowed out eggshells filled with bits of paper. In my family, confetti eggs have been traditionally used at Easter, and they are good for popping on a cousin’s head when they make you mad, or on your dad’s bald head for a laugh (though bald heads are a poor medium for confetti). According to Wikipedia, they may have come from China, by way of Marco Polo, and were used in Italy as a courting ritual, before finding their way to Spain and then Mexico. Side note: If you are Mexican, you know being global is not new.
I remember my grandmother once telling me about the first time she met my grandfather. Her sisters and her had gone to town for Sunday mass, and after mass all the young people gathered in the zocalo. There they formed two circles: one outside circle for the boys and another inside for the girls. Then the circles walked in opposite directions around the center gazebo. When a boy saw a girl he liked he popped a confetti egg on her head. And that’s how my grandparents met, he cracked a cascarón on her head.
One day I’m going to write a poem about this called Gardenias in Fall.
Here is a piece of Cascarones, Lumen Magazine, Issue One
Cáscaras are carefully
tapped and emptied by mothers cooking breakfast,
dried and collected
on windowsills over months,
and filled with the promise of smiles
for boys wearing moth-eaten
reindeer sweaters in spring.
Please be sure to check out the rest of the issue. It’s filled with fantastic poems, stories, and essays. I particularly enjoyed “Area 51. Nevada. June, 1987” by Ruth Nolan. She recounts her time working to put out a brush fire in the wilderness of Nevada and being so scared she wanted to cry, but had to save face amongst her male co-workers.
Lumen is now accepting poetry, nonfiction, and fiction for issue two. You can submit here.