The Confrontation

As soon as she walked through the front door, I told her. “You bought what?” My mother’s eyes bulged wildly. “Where is it?” “In the kitchen,” I responded.  She rushed past me to see if this abomination was really true. “Ay!” I heard her exclaim a few seconds later, a sound mixed with both disbelief [...]

The Farm

I was serenaded in the night by the whimsical sound of the coquis.  As I’m so much closer to the stars, and in the arms of the blanket of galaxies, I sigh. Puerto Rico can do that to you. I woke up in the morning by the sound of a rooster singing its special tune. [...]

Finding My Way

“Really, mija? You’re going to the nightclub tonight?” my papa asked, during our routine early-morning phone call. While the phone calls I received living in the university dorm were intended—I largely suspected—to make sure I was up and getting ready for class, they were usually masked in day-to-day small talk. That particular morning I was [...]

Bajo La Influencia

Es un buen tipo mi padre.  A man with as many qualities as flaws who tried his best in spite of a difficult life filled with death, failed relationships and disappointments.  He said he regrets not going to the museums and other places of culture when he went to Barcelona; instead, he spent his days [...]

An Ode to My Boring Dad

Some people have a sense of nostalgia about the cool stuff they did “back in the day” with their dad. How they would go on fishing trips with the old man, and he would give them sort of mysterious words of wisdom that continue to shape them to this day. They might spin a tale [...]

Papi’s Dementia

Papi was the writer. Mami the storyteller. And born from both, I write. Seated a few feet from him, I handed him the phone. He confused it for a remote, and aimed it in the direction of the television. I looked away. No longer grew weak with worry or buckled under the infinite sadness. But [...]

Abuelo’s Wisdom

I was a statistic. Single-mom household, raised without a daddy. And so those male role-model life lessons came instead from mi abuelito, my beloved grandfather, in whose care I passed my days. Here is what he taught me: 1. Family first. A spat with a spouse. Sickness. An unpaid debt. Whatever crisis befell his family, [...]


I wish my father’s house just once didn’t smell like urine when I walk in. I wish you wouldn’t insult me by drowning him in perfume to cover up the fact that he smells like urine. I wish you loved him as much, more, or the same way that I do. #judging #grudge #unforgiving These [...]

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