A wonderful description of life in Lima:
Ancash’s mother had the roof divided into living,
sleeping and horticultural areas.
Beside the water tank was where guests slept. Next to that was ‘Ancash’s room,’
an area bordered on one side by the clothesline,
where Ancash had neatly arranged his T-shirts on hangers, and on the other side
by a scarred highboy inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
Beside the highboy was the library. Here were two sofas and a bookcase packed
with books. On the writing desk stood
piles of paper weighted down with tins of tobacco and a gooseneck reading lamp
that plugged into a cracked extension cord
running across the desk and over the roof and down the ladder to the kitchen.
Ancash had made a ceiling of palm fronds
above the library. They moved and clicked in the wind like wooden tongues.
Next to the library was a squat structure
built of clear heavy plastic and some pieces of dismantled telephone booth.
Here Ancash’s mother grew a cash crop
of marijuana and herbs for cooking. She called it Festinito (‘Little Feast’)
and said it was her favorite place
in the world. Plaster figures of St. Francis and St. Rose of Lima were placed
encouragingly among the plants.
She herself slept next to the Little Feast on a cot piled high with bright blankets.
From Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse