Ten Fe

Yesterday the school district removed me from my classroom placement because students were sharing a nude picture that I put up on my instagram. The picture was modeled after the Sports Illustrated “Body Issues” and was shared as a part of an essay titled, “Learning to Love My Body”. I understand why they removed me: [...]

Mami’s Faith and Refranes

Mami was my first introduction to memes, filled to the very top with refranes. She said they were plentiful in Colombia: for every palmera there was a refran. She left for New York close to fifty-five years ago, alone and without English to brush her tongue. Refranes were the first things that she packed and [...]

The Room

In this room, with earthen walls, my mother gave birth to me; on a clear, quiet morning. In this room, my grandparents grow old, my parents grow old and now, I have grown old. In this room, I have seen time, motionless, staring at my eyes, while my face slowly shrinks, squeezing the youth out [...]

In the Midst of the Unknown

When tia was diagnosed with stomach cancer 12 years ago, it was a shocker to the family. She was 49 years old. She was the 6th of 8 siblings. She was my caregiver during my parents’ long work hours. She was the strong one, the funny one, the glue that held the family together. ‘Anyone [...]

Doubt Less, Live More

Before Tinder and Bumble made a simple finger-swipe the only prerequisite for a love (or lust) connection, there was a lonely girl and the click of her mouse. A string of go-nowhere hookups (coupled with the dearly-deported baby-daddy no longer with me) pushed me to pursue online dating with bemused anticipation: mentally mocking the likelihood [...]

Church Things

I’ll catch myself doing ‘church things’ from time to time. Mostly little stuff, like I’ll do the sign of the cross if I’m passing a church while I’m driving. If a hearse or funeral procession passes me in traffic, I’ll scramble for something metal or the seat belt buckle to ‘ground myself’ and make sure [...]

When He Showed Up

I still remember the day the Lord showed up. On January 26, 1992, I was in a dark place.  There was a fire in our apartment in the Bronx.  It was my 16th birthday, and it was a cold morning. The soot on the walls and in the kitchen should have been a warning sign [...]

La Dama

“Ya eres una dama,” they told her. Cielo was now a lady and she had to act like it. La quinceañera was her grandmother’s idea.  Her mother obliged and all the tias and tios were called to be padrinos. The day of la quince tias y primas from near and far flocked over her to [...]

To Be Faithless

I admire people who have strong faith. I wonder what it would be like, to have that certainty, to be SO SURE that what they believe in is true. Unwavering, never faltering, faith. I’m not a believer. I don’t have that. Sometimes I wish I did, most of the time I don’t think about it. [...]

Faith vs. Religion

Faith is an upward battle with the traumatic secrecy of God’s flawed human representatives, finding my path within the scripture that occasionally denies my validity as a powerhouse in society, and doing what is righteous in the image of God. I have loved churchgoers more deeply than the church itself. Looking for God’s casa in [...]

Fake Gods

Me. Went through hell with a man I loved like a god, loving him like a santo but he fell short on the promesas, I had faith in this relationship like the rosary that hung from my neck, nestled between my breasts but my chest, my chest ached from heart breaks.   Him. He told [...]

A Funny Lesson in Faith from my Dying Mother

When you’re a kid, your mom always seemed to have some sort of one-liner ready for you when life really seemed to stink. I don’t care who you are, or what language your mom said it in, but the one-liner was always there, like a cowboy’s gun in its holster, ready to shoot at whatever [...]

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