Six Tiny Memories

by Gita M. Smith

Aboard a boat headed away from Majorca, I ate fiery, painful peppers from the market on Calle de San Sebastian because the vendor swore they would prevent mareo on the choppy voyage.

The women who sold crucifixes outside the old city winked at superstitions and told me not to worry, that wearing their crosses would keep away all evil spirits, as if one purchase would guarantee power, luck and safekeeping.

I took a lover on Ibiza either because he was clean-smelling or because I was bored or because he had a hotel room and there were none to be had on that eve of the Feast Day of the Madonna, but I don't recall which.

 A woman in a Madrid cafĂ© shouted that her father had beaten her into deafness because she had listened to an American blues record when she was fourteen. 

The oyster shells we dug from the north end of Cumberland Island shed a pearly light on the tablecloth so beautiful that you put down your shucking knife and cried.

Yesterday, the call of a nuthatch sounded like a small hinge opening and closing against the tree where it descended, head first.