All I could hear was my breathing. Like a bull, trapped, trampled, stuck, my breath in and out, in and out. For one second I wondered if that’s all anyone else could hear. But then Heather threw her first punch, and everything around me fell away. All the cheering, all the friends, the strangers, the cars, the sunset, the humidity, it melted away out of the corners of my eyes, until there was just a blur of darkness at the edges, Heather in front of me, and my breathing.
[Letter to the US Embassy, February 2020] It was the way that he had looked at me, like he had never seen anything so bright.
The night we met it was cold.
It was March, when the wind blows up dust tornados from the ground, when the trees sway so hard the birds have nowhere to rest. The Haitians had said it was unusually cold for March. That the winds were sometimes hot, spitting dust into your face, sticking to you. But not this time.
The earth was still shaking, then
Will run for donuts. That’s what he shouted at me. Will. Run. For. Donuts. I had just gotten into my groove. My headphones weren’t slipping out of my ears, my pants weren’t rolling down in the front or back. My feet hadn’t gone numb yet, like they eventually will. My bright pink shirt swayed perfectly with every step. I was sweating, of course. The sun was hot and welcome, stinging my arms, my face. Levi would be back from his dad’s house soon, and they were all going to s
A girl I used to know had a baby last week. A beautiful baby girl, with a head full of black hair. I know because my mom showed me pictures, because they are friends on social media. This girl, she used to be one of those friends you assume you’ll grow old with. The kind of friend that unravels you, renders you incapable of anything but authenticity. I remember the time we sat by the river during an election year in Haiti. Word had spread that the city was on fire, that peo