The Yellow Window Unit

The yellow window unit fit perfectly into the bottom half of one of the windows in the room my family called our library. The unit, bought used and at a discount, was the first time my family had air conditioning in our home. I guess not having air conditioning wouldn’t have been such a big [...]

El Fuego de Palabras

I’ve always had this daredevil soul, coupled with the mind of a scared vieja riddled with anxieties. Yet another oxymoron in my life, fear and hurt made me audacious. I wanted to be fearless, to burn bold and bright. Sometime in middle school, I figured out if I acted crazy and wild, well, I could [...]

My Mother Used to Call Me Fiera

1. When I blush, people think I’m embarrassed. I blush when I’m angry, making my body hot, my neck itching as the heat rises, blood like lava reaching my ears, tiny pin pricks on my face. I pace in circles, eyes almost closed in a fury. My anger makes the acid in my stomach sizzle. [...]

Heatstroke

“Yo, is your friend a’ight?” The voice, emanating from some random wannabe-thug resplendent in Ed Hardy gear and no less than 12 gold chains, cut across the club. Heads swiveled in my direction where, to my chagrin, I was slowly melting on the dance floor. My face was bathed in rivers of sweat. Smudges of [...]

Heat Makes You Do Things

I grew up on 144th street in Harlem during the 80’s and 90’s. My building was on the northbound side, close to Broadway but not technically Broadway. It was one of the buildings where the residents would often sit on the front stoop. It was constantly crowded with residents but also crowded with crackheads who [...]

Pizza, Italian Ices, and Settling Into My 30s

Most people have some ritual on a hot day. I sat down this past weekend on a park bench in Corona, Queens lazily thinking about how my life has changed since I was in my 20s, and I saw the defining of my present, my 30s, sitting right on my lap. An Italian ice and [...]

The Heat, the Night, and the Valley

It’s funny how I knew something was different that summer of 1995. I arrived home in the usual manner, expecting to have endless Summer fun, but little did I know that I would get hit with more than the overwhelming and merciless heat of the great valley. San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in [...]

Dance

No need to worry, no need to fear that’s what he told me. I became completely submissive to what he was offering. I followed him. Eyes closed I allowed myself to feel anything and everything. It started slow and steady. Letting my body become familiar with it all. Once the rhythm became steady we sped [...]

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