behind the mask

I currently own a handful of reusable masks, collected over the months from various crafty friends and worried relatives. While I have become accustomed to incorporating a mask into my everyday life, I cannot shake the feelings of isolation and even alienation when I put one on and step outside. When the mask comes on, […]

Read More behind the mask

eight hundred and twenty-two

it has beennine hundred and eight dayssince i boarded that plane nine hundred and seven dayssince i stepped onto the tarmacexchanging damp winters for hotpressing heatmy first christmas in summer eight hundred and sixty-four days since i lit my first new year’s lanternthe paper catching fire dangerously close to a neighbor’s house four hundred and […]

Read More eight hundred and twenty-two

Coming Home to Quarantine

More than two years had passed since I had set foot in my parent’s home. I had not walked on the shores of Northern California, my childhood companion, in over two years. I had not eaten a scrumptious burrito from the combo restaurant-gas station in the little town of Pescadero, had not even hugged my […]

Read More Coming Home to Quarantine

A Slow Goodbye

The sun sets on me for the last time. I spot the panadería on the narrow street, the tienda on the highway with its typical two customers drinking beer at the table outside. I sit in the back of the bus, the window blessedly open. It’s the best place to be so that I can watch both the passing […]

Read More A Slow Goodbye

Tales from the Mountains

Señor Vildoso cuts the little moto-taxi’s engine as we careen down the curving hillside towards Estique Pampa.  Once again, I have returned to the mountain region of Tacna, accompanying my students on their summer service trip. One of my students, in a moment of poor teenager-induced decisions, cut himself in the eye with some wire […]

Read More Tales from the Mountains