"At the same time that a part of her soul flung itself backward to lock forever with Orin and Jesse, Lisa felt her body rushing away," writes Rechy, "understanding that she could save them only by fleeing from their deaths and with their lives--not by dying for them or with them."
The same potent blend of the magical and the mundane bubbles up in "The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez." Amalia sees herself as a good mother who has protected her beloved children from brutal lovers and blind poverty. But her darkest secrets struggle to reveal themselves--seductions, betrayals, tortures, lives corrupted and lives taken--until Amalia finally confronts the Virgin: "I demand a miracle!" Hours later, in a moment of shattering violence amid the bright lights of the Beverly Center, Amalia is finally rewarded: She beholds and then, in a sense, becomes the "Mother of Sorrows."