Luis Alberto Urrea · 528 pages
Rating: (8.8K votes)
“...There was nothing one could do when love came. It was fast, and it was strong, and if it were not good, then surely God would not have allowed it such power.”
“Owls visited them at night. Some thought the owls were witches. Some thought they were angels of death. Some thought they were holy and brought blessings. Some thought they were the restless spirits of the dead. The cowboys thought they were owls.”
“This is how Heaven works. They're practical. We are always looking for rays of light. For lightning bolts or burning bushes. But God is a worker, like us. He made the world — He didn't hire poor Indios to build it for him! God has worker's hands. Just remember — angels carry no harps. Angels carry hammers.”
“Everybody knew that being dead could put you in a terrible mood.”
“On that long westward morning, all Mexicans still dreamed the same dream. They dreamed of being Mexican. There was no greater mystery.”
“Tomas led a young woman by the hand and walked up into the foothills. Millian, the miner from Rosario, had introduced her to the patron, already buying points for himself. He was no fool. And the girl, no fool either, lifted her skirts for Tomas as he knelt before her, licking his way up her thighs -brown and sweet as candy, at the same time, tart and salty, musky, silken and cold in the warm air, refreshing as the sorbet he licked in Culiacan back when he was a student. She was amazed that this bit of her body could the great master to his knees before her. She was perhaps the most beautiful girl on that whole plain, but he did not her name and felt no need to ask. He pressed his face to her underwear, redolent with the burning scent of her, and he pulled the cotton down, over the bright points of her hips , the shadowy curve of her belly, until the fog of dark hair came into his sight, soft in the moonlight, tickling his face as he bent down to her again. He pressed his lips on the mound of her, breathing her in, tasting her like a dog, as her skirts fell over his head and her fingers pulled his head tighter to her, her legs moving apart in the dark, her beauty falling around him, his greatest gift to him, this flavor, this smell, her scent.”
“All these women, Huila thought: Mothers of God. These skinny, these dirty and toothless, these pregnant and shoeless. These with an issue of blood, and these with unsuckled breasts and children cold in the grave. These old forgotten ones too weak to work. These fat ones who milked all day. These twisted ones tied to their pallets, these barren ones, these married ones, these abandoned ones, these whores, these hungry ones, these thieves, these drunks, these mestizas, these lovers of other women, these Indians, and these littlest ones who faced unknowable tomorrows. Mothers of God. If it was a sin to think so, she would face God and ask Him why. “The”
“My friend,' he said, 'no one is more ired of religion than a priest.”
“He couldn't believe she was real. She was like some dream, some story old men told youngsters. She made a fool out of him with the slightest grin or pout. She slept in his bed, not beside him, but around him, her aromatic legs and arms wrapped around him, her mouth against his throat, her beautiful thundercloud hair over his face, his chest. He kissed her hair. Took it to his fist and kissed it, breathed it...Oh my God, he thought. He didn't know what it was about her that made him more insane: her belly, or the pale friction of her thighs; the small of her back, or her armpits.”
“-This young woman is an infernal abortion. She is Satan incarnate, for who is better to portray Satan than a rebellious woman?”
“If you were born to be a nail, you had to be hammered.”
“Cruz made the sign of the cross over them. He hefted his rifle onto his shoulder and walked away. His warriors followed, blessed by the Lord, reconciled, holy in this day He had made, and ready to shoot.”
“Who was to say that God did not use the coyote’s teeth to eat His gifts?”
“Is it a crime to want to be good? she cried”
“Bees are excellent engineers, better than even you. They are are hard workers...They are as brave as Indian warriors. And they make honey. Far better than humans, my friend.”
“Our power comes from the earth”
“I am in the earth and the earth is in me”
“They breathed. They felt their lungs fill the sky, and they let the dark clouds inside them flow out. Then they connected to the earth.”
“Gringos! They have copied us again”
“If you were born to be a nail, you cannot curse the hammer.”
“P.S. Do no violence. Kill no one.”
“Who was she to say that God did not use the coyote’s teeth to chew His gifts?”
“Help me,” said the Brown Sister. Her face”
“Since nothing is free, to each his price.”
“the actress playing Celia could ask why god had ever put her on earth.
and then the voice from the back of the theater could rumble: "to reproduce. nothing else really interests me. all the rest is frippery.”
“In places where government priorities and market imperatives create a world so capricious that to help a neighbor is to risk your ability to feed your family, and sometimes even your own liberty, the idea of the mutually supportive poor community is demolished. The poor blame one another for the choices of governments and markets, and we who are not poor are ready to blame the poor just as harshly.”
“Ariana, there's a small rodent on your face. Thought you should know."
"It's a mustache. Kyra assured me that it's extremely convincing.”
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