Pa’ mi gente.

  Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico earlier today. I’m a nuyorican, born and raised in the U.S. On the mainland, I’m often told I don’t look or sound Puerto Rican. On the island, boricuas look at me suspect, and whisper gringa behind my back. But make no mistake: the island is in my […]

Wish granted. (part three of an in-progress series)

The first time was in the back seat of a Honda CRV. It was unexpected. I had anticipated the opposite that morning: the day was supposed to be the beginning of one month alone. Before the magic in the Honda, I arrived to the Albany train station and reminded myself that I had resolved to […]

She persisted.

I am developing this in celebration of Women’s History Month and in response to two recent events: Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s statement regarding his use of the procedural right to cut short Elizabeth Warren’s speech against Jeff Session’s nomination for attorney general: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” A […]

Still beautiful.

(Originally posted September 14, 2010.) La moñita is disappearing. Moñita is the Spanish word for “little ponytail” and it’s what we’ve always called the hair patch at the center of my dad’s hairline. Removing his baseball cap reveals the remaining gray strands. Back in the day, la moñita was a child’s fistful-worth of wiry black […]

Sugar and spice.

Perched regally in my booster chair and resplendent in my tutu, I was almighty. I gazed upon my kingdom. What I saw pleased me: potted herbs and a mini-mist bottle on the kitchen windowsill. The shiny copper canister that I knew held a spoon embedded in sugar. The steam puffs that rose from the pot […]

Little town blues.

It was a torqued-brain day. This is different than a code-red day: I wasn’t at maximum anxiety, only slightly breathless and jumpy. The excess nervous energy twisted the grey mass behind my eyes only slightly. The flood of excess stress hormone in my system is less, but still gives me a dull, insistent headache like […]