Dear future President,
I’m writing you a list of things I want you to know.
I want you to know that:
1. Tamales and champurrado are best at 9 am on Saturday mornings. Specifically the lady that sells them out of her shopping cart at the parking lot of Mi Tierra. Support your local vendors. And their husbands. And their children. And their babies, aunts, uncles, grandparents, ancestors. Support your local family tree.
2. My father never got to say goodbye to his father. He was 18 when he last saw him. He’s now 42. They’re spitting images of each other. They both like to wear soccer shorts when they’re home. The sun shines through their skin. The first week that he passed away my dad slept next to his altar. Slept next to the border in between the U.S. and Mexico. In between life and death.
3. When I was 11, I saw the police throw my uncle on the floor. I was the only person there with my 4 year old cousin. We both ran and cried.
4. My cousin is missing. He’s been missing for over a year now. Jonas Trujillo. He disappeared in September with 42 other students in the little town of Ayotzinapa in Guerrero, Mexico. His name lives everywhere. He can’t be silenced.
5. Phone lines are life lines. Tree lines. This is how my family lives, laughs. 2 places in one.
6. My brother speaks Spanish with bricks on his tongue. A little heavy. A little painful to spit the words out.
7. You find home through love. In Oakland. In La Costa Chica. In Huntington Park. In Tijuana. In Downtown Los Angeles. In my grandfather’s arms. In my mama’s womb. In my father’s smile.
Where is your home Mrs./Mr. President?