Category Archives: Alexandra Pereira

Blessed by Alexandra Pereira

She doesn’t care what people think,
waving her arms in the air,
majestically and nonchalant.
The warm breeze kissing her unshaven
underarms, as she kicks wet sand
in the air, unaware of its presence.

She doesn’t care what people think,
as she struts like a Persian peacock,
along side turquoise waves that bow
to her aura, offering sweet myrrh
and frankincense.

She doesn’t care what people think,
as she shakes her hips, looking down
at an outspoken belly button.
Tenderly, she rubs the hot skin the
afternoon sun has blessed,
and thinks, “I hope they’re boys.”


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jelly beans and gummy bears by Alexandra Pereira

Kylie loves jellybeans, the red and orange ones. Says they’re the sweetest. I prefer gummy bears, the green ones. I like the taste of green. Yesterday after school we spread out a tablecloth on the large table in the back porch and made houses with our goodies. For the first time, she borrowed some of my green gummies to finish her chimney and front door. She was really inspired and made the biggest house ever. “One day I’m gonna have a house like this one. I’m gonna call it The Rainbow Mansion!” And then she looked at my house and said, “You’re always makin’ green houses. Who wants to live in a green house? That is sooo ugly!” And she squeezed her eyes and wrinkled her nose so that she ended up making a face that was much uglier than the ugly she said my house was. I looked into her shriveled blue eyes. “My bears will eat your beans,” I whispered in my serious voice. And I must have had a scary face because that’s when she looked at me like she had just peed her pants.


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Coldfrontation by Alexandra Pereira

That autumn morning, as usual, Henry woke up early, had his oatmeal before washing his face, and walked to the park to feed his birds. Today a woman sat on his bench.

“Nice to see I have some company today.” The woman sat like a broken statue. Only her hands continued to knit the scarf that covered her thin legs.

“My wife use to knit too. She…” He pointed to his chest. “She made this sweater, you know?” The noise of the needles was the only response Henry got.

“I come here every morning to feed my birds… My birds…” he chuckled. I call them my birds ‘cause I take care of ‘em.”

The woman sighed, pulled up her glasses, laid her hands on her lap and stared at the scarf.
“It’s cold today,” Henry continued. “Winter’s on its way. I bet that scarf will help keep someone warm.” The woman’s hands started to tremble.

“You know, talking helps keep us warm. Moving our mouth is like exercise.” He paused. “But it’s the words that really warm us on the inside.”

He smiled and rubbed his large, dry hands together. Suddenly, the woman covered her ears and squinted at the line of trees in front of her.

“You remind me of my husband,” she said. Her words shot out like ice cubes. “I hated him.”


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tainted love by Alexandra Pereira

“Good morning, sir. May I help you?”

“Yes, I would like some love.”

“What kind of love, sir?”

“The kind that makes me happy.”

“And would you like happy-love-occasionally, sometimes, or most of the time?”

“What? Look, lady, I’m tired of being miserable! I want always, happy-love-always!”

“We don’t have always, sir. Humans weren’t programmed to be happy always.”

“Fine. I’ll take most of the time then.”

“Uh…one moment…Sorry, it’s unavailable. The woman before you took our last one.”

“Guess sometimes will have to do, then.”

“For how long? One week, month or…ah…let me see…yes, we still have years-”


“How many?”

“As many as you can give me.”

“Impossible, sir. We don’t sell love for eternity but what we offer is good compared to what’s in the market nowadays.”

“Look, I’m a simple man. Don’t complicate my life.”

“We’re not here to complicate your life, sir. We want our customers to be happy, but I can only give you three, four, maximum five years. The woman before you also took the maximum we had.”

“I’ll take five. How much?…That’s outrageous! Don’t have that kind of money!”

“But you want love and love’s expensive and can be very difficult to find.”

“That’s why I came here, but I want the lasting kind, not any of this bullshit!”

“Then you’ll have to try the Dream On store next door. Maybe they can help you. Here we only sell tainted love.”

“Never mind. I’ll just find that woman. Ah…What was her name?”


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Interview (Inner view) by Alexandra Pereira

“My son, you ask? Oh he’s a hell of a guy. Loves ping pong and squash but hates washing the car and helping his mother with the dishes, whenever he visits. Not a manly thing to do, but being an only son he’s gotta help around the house sometimes, heh heh. But Claire and I will do everything for him… Oh ya – my wife and I have a great relationship. Wonderful woman. And we’re so lucky to have a great son. I mean Rory means everything to us… Claire… Claire had… well, she couldn’t get pregnant easily so we went through a difficult time — very difficult. But all that’s gone now. Rory came and grew up and went to college and has made us very proud… No, he’s not finished his course yet. Not easy studying to be doctor. I mean Rory’s extremely intelligent, he’s just ah… had bad luck with some professors, that’s all. Otherwise he would have finished ah… ’bout three years ago… Ah, ya… it’s cost us a hunk of money, and we’re not rich, but we’ll do everything for our little Rory – well, he’s really not that little anymore, heh heh… Naw, that’s just lack of sleep. He’s been real tired. You know, staying up late, studying, and all… Really? Nah, couldn’t have been our Rory! Rory’s studying in the east coast, Pennsylvania, not Nevada.”


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The space between by Alexandra Pereira

Summer mosquitoes always found succulent skin to poke under papa’s porch. Even with the lights turned off, and Jimmy’s cigarette smoke hole-punching the air, they would dance around lazy eyes like distracting shadows and slumberous finger puppets. Sometimes a slap would pierce the silence, and under the misty moonlight, a shade of smeared blood exposed the victorious murderer, who smiled self-satisfied at his impeccable aim.

Now and then, Grandpa would try to catch one with his parachute hands, thinking he had squashed it into his sweaty palms. Triumphantly, he would open his fingers, only to see the bloodsucker fly dizzily into the free air.

Grandma couldn’t see well, but we knew when she felt them, “Moosekitos, moosekitos,” she would whisper, shaking one off her knee, another off her chin. But she would never kill them, or curse their unwelcomed presence, for bad luck would torment the family.

Betty liked to sing to them. “The music soothes their desire to attack”, she would say. I felt the more she sang the more mosquitos seemed to be hovering around us with a greater craving for our blood.

Night after night, during those scorching summers, we would summon ourselves to their torture; the price we paid for sitting outside gazing at the enchanted northern lights that stretched above us like woven carpets of stars.

In the morning, under the first rays of daylight, the red moles emerged; unmasked, and unashamed. A nuisance we never invited, invaded our bodies transforming our fingernails into weapons.


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Ma George by Alexandra Pereira

Ma George had a way with words. He was not a writer or poet, but he knew his words. How he knew his words. He knew how to choose ‘em, how to speak ‘em. Every word he said was said with dis-tinction. (He taught me that word). Before he’d open his mouth, he’d always wait, ‘cause he always took longer than anyone else to say what was on his mind. But when them words came out, he made them sound so rich soundin’ like he was some Congressman or General or somethin’ important like that. Ma George knew how to choose his words and he didn’t need a dictionary or any of that university stuff. He just knew. It was like them words were in his bones. Know what I mean? Like they was born with him. Know what I mean? Like when someone’s good at soccer and was born already kickin’ a ball. Ma George didn’t cry tears when he came into this world, he spoke words. Words! I tell you! When ma George spoke, everyone stopped what they was doin’, to listen, even if he didn’t say much. But what he said, he said it right and even if it didn’t make much sense to them, they agreed anyway. You see, ma George didn’t know everythin’, but he knew a lot a stuff. He was an intelligent man; too intelligent for his time. I miss ma George, but I know he’s happy ‘cause he’s got the angels listenin’.


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Under the mulberry tree by Alexandra Pereira

The mulberry tree in Mr. Rodrigo’s garden was enormous. It was the only one in the neighborhood and stood right in the middle of a flowerless garden. Every July, huge, plump mulberries inundated its branches. The kind you don’t see in supermarkets. Pedro wanted me to see it, so that afternoon he grabbed the end of my white dress and pulled me towards the gate. Mr. Rodrigo was on holidays somewhere in southern Spain, so the coast was clear. I was new in the neighborhood and impressing me was mandatory. As Pedro climbed onto a lower branch and up unto a higher one, eating the succulent fruits as he went along, I stood below, watching him in awe. “Maria, looka this one!” he shouted. “This a one is fo you!” And like a little chimpanzee, he quickly swiveled down the tree and stood with his nose nearly touching mine. “Eat it”, he said. Between his fingers was the biggest mulberry I had ever seen. I looked at his stained red mouth, “C’mon, eat it”, he insisted, gently parting my lips with the warm berry. “Good, uh?” It was the perfect combination of sweet and sour. “I geta more,” he whispered. I smiled. The liquid started trickling towards my chin. “I can’t get dirty, Mamá will be angry.” Pedro’s hot breath touched my nose; his eyes scanned my face, suddenly stopping at my mouth. “Don’t wanna your mamá get angry,” he said, and wiped the excessive nectar with his kisses.


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If I had a little money by Alexandra Pereira

“Money, money, money… must be funny… in the rich man’s world
Money, money, money… always sunny… in the rich man’s world
Aha-ahaaa… all the things I could do… if I had a little money —”

“Jason! Can’t you knock!?” I could, but I didn’t feel like it. She wouldn’t have heard me anyway with the music so loud.

“What do you want?”

“Abba again?” I chuckled, as she lowered the volume. “You just love them, don’t you?”

“Got a problem with that?”

“No, just that they’re ancient.”

“So are you.” She looked at me with a sudden tenderness in her voice.

“Ah… I need… I need a little money, sis.”


I looked at her with a half embarrassed, half begging and all hopeful face.

“I haven’t babysat in over a month,” she informed me, “and you haven’t paid me back from last time.”

“I know. I’ll have the money by next week. I promise.”

She walked over to the bookcase. “You’re lucky I don’t spend all I make.”

“I know”

She reached for the top shelf. “You’ll hit the jackpot one day, Jason, I know it!” My poor little sis. So confident in me. “And we’ll be rich and buy and do all those things we want!”

She opened Abba Gold: The Complete Story. Her mouth dropped and her eyes expanded like bubblegum.

“The money’s gone!”

“I know” I said to myself. Darn. I thought she had another hiding place.


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A Distance too Long by Alexandra Pereira

She sits on the frail armchair as if studying the horizon. For a few seconds she wonders why the colors don’t mix and a line so perfectly straight can lead to nowhere.

She remembers the words she never spoke as he sat on that caved in couch. She recites them in her mind. Again. She knows them by heart, one by one, knowing how they will sound, how loud they will be heard and the exact intensity she will put into each one. She knows this so well as she knows that one day she will say them looking straight into his distant eyes. Maybe next year.

“You never noticed, did you? The way I stared into nothing, loose molecules drunk in a space too crammed for them. You thought I was paying attention, following the story line, trying to catch the joke, maybe.

You never noticed, did you? As your brain waves soaked up the screen. My eyes, like Monalisa’s, there, but only on a timeless painting, beyond your reach, light years away from that couch.

You never noticed, did you? As you laughed at the sitcoms and drank your warm beer, scratching unwanted dandruff into fingernails too occupied to touch me, that today, I turned 40.”


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