For the Women Who Saved Me

It’s June 2016 and I’m in Port-au-Prince attending an academic conference. I still remember N, a kind Haitian woman I met in the lobby of the hotel through a mutual friend, asking us if we wanted to see an urbanVodou temple. We all agree and hail a ride to it. I’m immediately greeted at the [...]

Amigos y Maestros

“Los amigos son un peso en el bolsillo. Van y vienen.” Mami’s sentiment suited me just fine. Words were my friends. A wall of books stacked in front of my heart, meant to keep people far and apart. Then there were those that saw the fine cracks between all those bound pages. And friendships were [...]

Propuesta Indecente

Si te digo que solamente busco una noche, would you say yes? I do not want a forever, we tried that and failed. Of course, I am not saying it may never happen and if it did it would fail again. We have grown, somos diferente. We are no longer teenagers in love but adults [...]

“Sir, How is Your Pain?”

–          For Hermano Terry   A brunette nurse asks him. He raises a Black Power salute, “My pain is deep, deep like the mountains, son.” She taps the clipboard with alumni pen, “Mr. Jackson, I need a number.” “That’s Dr. Jackson,” he drunkenly retorts.   Under the morphine, he’s a mad scientist. Geneticist-turned troubadour whose [...]

Las Señoras de Sinaloa

The bathroom was blocked by two twentysomethings, demanding payment in exchange for toilet entry and a pre-cut wad of tissue. Bladder bursting (why, oh why, did I drink that second horchata?) I fumbled through my crossbody for pesos, only to find that my recently exchanged, touristy-big bills couldn’t be broken for lack of change. And [...]

Thick Thighs Forever

Swish! Swish! Swish! My thighs are inseparable. They prefer to be next to each other at all times feeling each other skin to skin. They cry when pants force them to separate and they can no longer feel each other and they can no longer stick to one another and they can no longer attempt [...]

An Alcoholic Discovers Friendship

Growing up as a really weird kid, I had few, if any, friends. I’m not asking for sympathy here – as I said, I was a really weird kid. If I could make a time machine and visit 13 year old Eric, I wouldn’t be his friend either. Friendships for me largely consisted of following [...]

When your former enemy becomes the friend you’ll never have

My older sister once slapped a girl in the face. No. Wait. Let me start over. My older sister once slapped my junior high classmate’s sister in the face. I’m sure she’s slapped others more than once. It happened on another floor of the school, but I found out about it mere minutes later as [...]

Ode Para Mi Amiga del Alma

I tried to capture her essence in a poem. I thought to myself: one can’t be that clever and talented, certainly not like Mr. Poe. I tried to remember our many conversations, tried to rank them in order of importance: broken hearts, rough times, disappointments, illness and just plain reality. Was it the 90s? Early [...]

My Single Boyfriend

I have moved from broken vows to dating purgatory. In this ambiguity of what is needed to get into affliction heaven, I explain the sins that keep me from elevating:   My excuses are the realities lived in compound experiences. I’ve been depreciated for so long, I choose to grip fool’s gold and pawn the [...]

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