I am currently busy working on my upcoming novella, Itzá. It will be released on September 15th of 2017 via Broken River Books. There will more info to come, lo prometo.
I have been taught to add sweetness. To my voice, to my tone, to the way I move my body in white spaces. I have been taught to shrink. Cross your legs, keep them shut, never spill out of your clothes. I have been taught to take out my tongue and let it hang down. Open wide for others to spit on my open face. Let saliva spill out of my mouth, put my hands around my tongue and pull. Pull until you’re numb. Pull until your palms are pruned into small soft canyons.
My pulse boomed in the room, bouncing off the walls. It felt like my ears were going to explode. My body was ready to dissipate into dirt. I was fed up. I was tired of being an object. A play thing. Here I am at seven. It’s where a lot of my stories begin. My bones ache from exhaustion. The anger burns in my chest. I kick the blue-eyed assaulter in the face. I squirm under the sheets and I fall off the bed. I run to wake up my older cousin and I tell him what’s going on. My exact words: “Luis is touching me where he’s not supposed to.” In El Paso, we live in a small one bedroom apartment. There’s a kitchen and then there’s the bedroom/living room area. Six kids total and two adults. Two beds, one futon, and all of our bodies in this little room. My cousin grabs me and he embraces me. He comforts me in his arms. He doesn’t question me. He tells me to fall asleep in between him and my two other cousins. He becomes my human shield.