Ash Wednesday in Puebla

The Poblanos wore the neatest, serif-finished crosses on their foreheads yesterday. I don’t know how they managed it. When I was growing up, horny-thumbed priests smeared ashy blobs on us, and I can still feel the cold, gritty texture. I was so interested in these neat tattoos that I joined the line in the cathedral.
   ´Repent and sin no more,´ the señora instructed, and then daubed a soggy, barely cruciform, charcoal mess on my forehead.