The Grito as Prayer

I watched her draw in a deep gulp of air, opening her airway, chest firm and ready for battle. La Maestra closed her eyes, and on her mark, in unison, twenty-two of us let out a hum whose vibrations and frequencies resonated across our torsos. We could feel each other without touching. From where our […]

Being is the Greatest Act of Resistance

Birds are our greatest storytellers. Consider the ruby-throated hummingbird migrating from Central America to Eastern North America. These pajaritos carry generations of story within themselves. They are vessels of witness migrating from one place to another, much like humanity, and how stories themselves migrate across generations. Birds do not worry about belonging. Their work is […]

What Does It Cost You?

“¿Mijita, que te cuesta? What does it cost you?” Grandma forces her eyebrows into a plunging V so sharp I think it’s going to rip off the top of her nose.   “My dignity!”   I stand feet raked across her linoleum floor, a bull ready to charge, except I’m wearing the red reboso. I am […]

Honoring a Parent With Whom I’ve Drawn a Boundary

My mom prunes the Mexican Oak tree in my front yard with her bare hands. The tree stands catty-corner to the chain-link fence, standing guard against the neighbor’s driveway. It appears diseased as my mom tirelessly rips off each limb. The branches fall around her like the many stories we hold and can’t quite bring […]

Finding Grace in the Missing Parts of My Story

I reflect on pictures my mom kept of me posing on grandma’s front porch, my three-year-old little body donning a Fiesta dress with intermingled colors. They dance with each other far from lament. Dad’s sailor cap is tipped over my face, covering my left eye, making me giggle as I reach up to catch it […]

Jesus Speaks for the Marginalized

I thought I had to be white if I wanted to be a real writer. I loved writing since as early as I can remember – first grade, Mrs. Kazekwa’s class. I was the girl who, when given a picture of a clown to describe, would write a life story specifically for him.  In high school, […]