Tuesday, May 23, 2017
MELINDA LUISA DE JESUS
After Alex Tizon’s article "My Family’s Slave" as regards Eudocia Tomas Pulido
(The Atlantic, June 2017)
Alternative Endings for Ms. Eudocia Pulido
Underneath his barrage of words
we yearn to hear you
All I can offer your ghost is this...
1. After a few years in the States, Eudocia escaped her captivity with the Tizon family, finding refuge at the local Catholic church. She sued the Tizons for kidnapping and back wages, ruining them financially. She became a feminist icon and returned home to the PI triumphant and rich. Eudocia transformed into a famous movie star, known for her tough-as-nails character roles, further cementing her rags-to-riches fame. She eventually married and had two children of her own, and at 78 died in her sleep, mourned by her loving husband and children, seven grandkids and adoring fans.
2. Eudocia bided her time, knowing somehow she would recognize the right moment. On a clear, cold, moonless October night in 1962, she killed her kidnappers, stabbing each in the neck with a bolo knife. She left a note that said “sorry not sorry, bitches.” She was never heard from nor seen again. There is still a warrant out for her arrest.
3. In 1973 the Tizon family was visited nightly by a ghostly apparition for a week. An old woman’s gaunt and pained face appeared to every family member, begging for help. No one could sleep and the children were terrified. The parents called in the local priest who was unable to help, even with an exorcism. They finally begged for the help of a local psychic, one Madame Rita, who insisted she could speak to the spirits. Friday night they sat around the dining table as if they were playing cards. A candle was lit next to a glass of water and the light turned down. The kids giggled nervously as Madame Rita summoned the unhappy spirit. A door slammed somewhere in the house and the candle blew out. Someone screamed and Madame Rita shushed them.
“Speak, I say. Tell this family why you haunt them so!”
“They stole my daughter and I want her back!” the thin crackly voice wailed, accusingly. Alex heard his parents gasp in fear.
“Eudocia must come home! She must return now!”
That’s how we learned her real name. Lola Eudocia was packed up the next day, a one-way ticket in her hand. We learned her mother died ten days later. We never saw Lola again.
Eudocia dreams of her secret lover arriving
to spirit her far away from here.
Or, of a tidy house, just hers,
where she watches telenovelas whenever she wants.
She dreams of warm sand between her
toes, her dear mother’s hand in hers.
Of when she belonged to herself alone.
her plastic measuring cup
muffin tins and steamer await,
But she never comes.
Auntie Cosiang bakes her puto in heaven.
Dr. Melinda Luisa de Jesús is Chair and Associate Professor of Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts. She writes and teaches about Asian American cultural production, girl culture, monsters, and race/ethnicity in the United States.
She is also a poet, and has published five chapbooks Locofo Chaps/Moria Poetry in 2017: Humpty Drumpfty and Other Poems, Petty Poetry for Scrotus’ Girls, Defying Trumplandia, Adios, Trumplandia!, and James Brown’s Wig and Other Poems. Her poems have appeared in Machine Dreams Zine, Rat’s Ass Review, Konch Magazine, and Rabbit and Rose. More about her poetry is available here: http://peminist.com/poetry/
She is a mezzo-soprano, a mom, an Aquarian, and admits an obsession with Hello Kitty.
Posted by EILEEN at 9:30 PM