The Day After


Photo by Joelle Santos @azuquita.prieta

“Perdóname”, resbaló de su boca varías veces terminando barriendo el piso. En cambio ella, hizo todo para que el perdón de la boca para afuera no se la comiera. Todo lo que se debía hacer se hizo; sacar la basura, quemar la furia, y prender la estufa con el café a todo dar. Saqueo el más mínimo recuerdo con anís y helado con sabor Oreos.

Para ella el perdón era eso: quemar lo desecho para que no reviva. Sin embargo, el proceso era más largo…se requería tiempo más que nada, ¡tiempo! El perdón que andaba buscando no son actos; como quemar objetos y ensuciar su boca con malditas malas palabras, más bien, es dejar los tetéres intactos. Perdonar es afirmar que ya no molestan las flechas lanzadas, caminando sin tener que llevar vainas cargadas en la espalda. Sobre todo, que el perdón no sea de la boca para afuera… es de adentro, si no comerá su víctima con ansias como un veneno silencioso.


“Forgive me,” it slipped from his mouth several times ending sweeping the floor. Instead, she did everything she could so the forgiveness from the mouth out cannot eat her. Everything that has to be done was done; throwing out the garbage, burning the anger, and turning on the stove with coffee in full swing. Plunder the slightest recollection with anise and flavored ice cream and Oreos.
For her forgiveness was this: burn the waste so it can’t revive. However, the process was longer…time is required more than anything, time! The forgiveness she was searching for is not an act; like burning objects and soil your damn mouth with profanity, rather, it is to leave things intact . To forgive is to realize the thrown arrows no longer bother, walking without carrying pods loaded on the back. Above all, that forgiveness is not the one that comes out of the mouth… it’s in, if not it will eat its victim forward as a silent poison.


Hermanas, Dear Sisters


Photo by the author.


Wrapped around metaphors.
The sisters thought their names were simple.
Simplification. Miminalism. Bland. Easy to manuver, passing by the skylines of the city.

They arrived, here and there, and they found out two things. First, the devil doesn’t wear red. Secondly , that their names are noodles. I am taking about fideos baratos.

When they though they had one name,
those names expanded like noddles never returning to their original state.There is not such a thing as recyclable dominican nombres when you are out of the country. They will pronunce your name like they are eating a computer keyboard and you are the black ink of the printer…getting wasted by injustice or worse, they will say your name like they had put their brains in a lavadora just making weird sounds…mostly on purpose. There’s nothing in between.

They thought four letters name weren’t all that.
They thought people will make an effort.
They thought people will not try to rip their tongues out trying to say one “r.”

Sisters, dears sisters, hermanas,
let them mispronounce our nombres from our grandmothers which are passing from generation to generation in the mantel de la cocina. They don’t understand our hair or our skin, much less our historias.

Jamaica Avenue 


Photo by José Silva

“The bus left me this morning. It was damn cold. Don’t be. Don’t be fooled by this tin light you see across Jamaica Avenue. I am burning inside, I have the Dominican sun inside me. I survived. I don’t know. No me pregunten. ¡Que se yo! I don’t really know, how can one adapt? How can you pretend you don’t miss a single thing? Your hands are cold, freezing, hard-heartless-cold winter got me this time. I am lying, not only this time… multiple times. There, while waiting for the Q56. In front of everyone, it did not cared a bit. My twelve year old self was desperated. You would be too, if someone would take you away from the bright sun that burns your body while bringing happiness under a tranquil wooden house in the campo. It has mutilado lo que soy, ahora. I told you I was not lying, I was honest from the beginning. I, myself, no longer wait for the MTA to sent me the bus to go somewhere. I persist fighting against a winter that I did not give birth to, holding it like a child, even if it cries and pulled my brown hair, I still have patience to give him love. But this bus, the one I am waiting on, I don’t want to take me anywhere. I want to just go home. I hope, I really hope, with all my mixed heart that the driver have a pilot license, home is far–not here.” —La niña diaspora