Five Points, Vol. 21, No. 3
When my grandfather visited from Yucatán, he was always the same—same guayabera, pencil mustache, boina to hide his shiny crown. He told stories about Franco and crushing grapes with his feet as a boy. They had no end, turned into incantations as he walked around wearing the hotel-slipper-pancakes Mom collects. He gave me a maquech once. He flew with it in his pocket. De reyes, he said. For royalty. The beetle’s shell had plastic red jewels and a chain leash glued onto it. I made a little home in a fish tank, with wood chips for it to eat and crawl on, a bottle cap filled with water. My grandfather told me about el maquech. I brought the bug to school once and pinned its leash inside my sweatshirt. I felt him feeling around on my chest during the Pledge of Allegiance and closed my eyes and prayed we wouldn’t get caught. When I sat back down, my teacher looked at me, and I looked into her deadly eyes and winked.