She Moves through the Fair

Flash fiction by Maggie Secara

Callipygian. She loves the shape of the word, the way it tickles as it shapes in her mouth. 

Callipygian. Broad, comfortable. Hips like Calypso swing in counterpoint to her swaying hair. Sauntering through the cityscaped farmers’ market, she wishes more people knew the word so they could use it of her. Deah wants to hear it pop out of their mouths clipped and chipped and dancing along with their smiles.

Eyes flash, admiring stares reward her market stroll. She pauses to examine streaked and striped tomatoes, rose and gold. Brings the fruit to her nose, inhales sunshine and earth. The seller grins and offers another, crazy-shaped, filling his two hands.

“Mmmorning, D-Deah. Saved this one for you.”

 The next booth over, some smart-ass kid decides he’s a parrot. “D-d-duh—” he goes, then swallows his tongue when she says “Morning, Frank” and shifts her goddess hips, just so. “My goodness, isn’t it fine? And so big. Almost... voluptuous, isn’t it!”

Another word she loves. Vol-UP-tuous. Ripe with promise, sweet in the mouth. Both drop into her bag.

Skating on the kid’s dismay she glides among the vendors, lends color to white canvas walls, calls a yeasty breeze into the shaded walks, doling out delight in easy measures. That’s her super-power, they say, and it’s so. Heads turn, hands lift brown and black and white. Lips open in greeting, kisses fly.

At this stall she’ll have mushrooms, just a few. At that one, brown eggs mottled like an old man’s cheek. An aubergine the color of her eyes. Money changes hands, moods soar, cell phones drop.

A husky voice declaims, “She walks in beauty like the night!” The gallant speaker lifts his coffee in salute to her aspect and her eyes. Later, explicating Byron, he’ll tell his class he has seen a goddess go. They’ll laugh, but he’ll know, his mind at peace.

Next row penny candy, pastel pan dulces sweeten the warming air. Sugar-spangled, standing on a fruit crate, Ofelia holds out churros like a pair of golden bones.

“Sweets should have sweet,” she says, insisting. “Spicy, too!”

Long acquainted, they pass the time, the news flavored with cardamom: a graduation, a new grandson, a funeral, pobrecito, and so young. But no churros today, she thanks her kindly.

“Not today, Doňa Ofelia, gracias,” says Deah.

At the end of the last row, her bus is waiting. Brown, sandaled feet step up. Voluptuous, callipygian, she beams now on the driver, and the doors hiss closed. A breath of diesel, a cough of hydraulics, and she’s gone.