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Published by Your Impossible Voice in January 2023.

Excerpt from Tijuana:

In dreams, I glide past borders and through concrete doors to reach places I have never left. I fly over green picket fences and bougainvillea trees adorned with slivers of the past. Abuelo teaches me how to walk downhill without falling. “Don’t be afraid, Mija,” he says. “The key is to go slow, step sideways, and swing your arms like this.” I put this to use when I make my way down gravel and dirt roads with Abuela to buy corn tortillas made fresh by hand, wrapped in yellow paper. I inhale their warmth and run back up the hill so Abuelo can eat them with his favorite meal – a bowl of watery refried beans. And when my cousin and I take empty Coca-Cola bottles to Doña Rafaela, who lives four houses down, past a rugged patch of cactus where a few stubborn, unknown spirits now reside. For a nickel, she refills the bottles with syrupy sweetness that coats our tongues. Along the way, we throw rocks at packs of wild dogs that chase us. “Be good to your Mamá,” are Abuelo’s last words to me. He is lying on his stomach, face turned toward me, his green eyes cloudy with age. I learn that nothing will ever be as it once was.

Read "Tijuana" here (external link to Your Impossible Voice website).

Photo credit: Thomas Plets


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