Cities are dwelling places. Spaces that hold,connect, stir, shake and respond. Some people are invited in, others keep passing by. Every now and then there are intruders -every city deals with crime differently. The city that I speak of is my body. It is a city of significance, once forgotten but now reawakened. It speaks to the multitude of meaning-me.
Except from the short story, The City
Published in the CalArts Next Words Series
Stories of you present when I was born. I’m your second child but only daughter. Born in the city of the eraser-North Hollywood, California; a summer baby. You couldn’t make it for Ebrain’s birth -you and Mom were still fighting. He’s a Miami Beach baby. Palm trees, clear water and Abuela Y Abuelo Sacerio are there.
My head is in the palm of your hands; soft baby hairs lay in the creases of your skin. I can imagine your tender heart linking with my soft eyes. You shake as you hold me. Don’t worry; I won’t fall -cut the umbilical cord.
Your hair is no longer the jet-black wave that I use to run my fingers through to annoy you. Asking questions of “Daddy, do you think I am pretty.” A game we often played. Your hair is now salt and pepper. More salt than pepper.
I’m heading into my thirties and acknowledging multiple fears, they have been stiring deep within and rising up to the surface more than usual. I am no longer the twenty-year-old girl pretending to be a rock, as if that is strength. I am now a woman and my own anchor. Strength is communication, instinct, honesty, and the ripples in my body of surrender in the tides of change -vulnerability.
You come down the stairs.
“Our song is playing.” You say to me.
You sit and wrap your arms around me. Fleetwood Mac’s "Landslide" is playing on the radio as we both sit outside. You let go and I continue to enjoy the breeze.
“I remember you were so small that I could fit you on my forearm. Now, you are too big to hold.” You say to me as you to tap your fingers on the glass of the table. In my lap sit the tiger lilies I bought for my home.
You still think I have gained too much weight as I have gotten older. The curvature of woman, my body no longer hidden behind yours when strangers come to visit. You touch my belly.
“Are you bloated or something?” you ask me. A slight detour from the conversation we were having about you aging.
Don’t lay your hands upon my womb, pressing in with your pointer finger and thumb. I’ve been unpacking the stories that take refuge here, slowly. I learned from you how to hide them.
You still keep yours beneath the rug of your chest; no wonder sometimes words of criticism meet your tongue quickly.
I sustain myself with books, deep breaths and intuitive eating. When I was younger I ate sparingly.
Excerpt from the poem, Daddy's Girl