Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Guernica
We were coming closer to the orange mountains. There were huts made from scrap wood, tin, and old advertising signs climbing the slope of it, built, it looked, one over the other. The huts climbed the mountain like stairs. Everywhere there was orange dirt and the huts and houses blended with the ground like a sunset.
Ghost House, Guernica
There were stories of how the kidnapped were never brought back. You gathered the money, you paid the ransom, you gave the guerrillas what they wanted; but the kidnapped never returned.
“The biggest thing I have learned in all these years,” she confided, “is that nobody wants the truth, but everyone wants a story.”
Our black hairs made our already dark skin seem darker. The down covering our body made us seem like—but, no, we never finished that thought. It was ugly. That’s what we knew.
Home Is What You Carry with You, Architectural Digest
In every apartment I’ve ever lived, I arrange three objects on the choicest shelf: a small red wooden rectangle, a bottle of blue ink, and a gray rock I picked from my grandmother’s backyard back in Colombia.
The process of becoming an American is not only exacting, but invasive and at times humiliating. I have been tracked, scanned, recorded, photographed, and made to speak into the blinking red light of a camera more times than I can count.
I was one of the 1,123 immigrants at the Paramount theater in Oakland, standing in the auditorium, right hand raised, intently repeating the words through which we were to become Americans. At this moment, a news notification from the Washington Post popped up on cellphones: “Trump attacks protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries.”
A Snowy Bogotá, Guernica. Cities of the Future
When I go back to Bogotá, I like to share my knowledge of the car bombs that went off in the city in the ’80s and ’90s. I helpfully point out the gory details to cab drivers and friends. I press my finger on the window and point at corners, “That’s the spot where an ATM blew up, seven dead.”
On Not Writing for White People, Pleaides
As a foreigner, you adopt many ways of speaking. Sometimes you adopt the voice of silence, hiding your difference. Other times you sound like an encyclopedia.
On Not Writing: An Illustrated Guide to My Anxieties, Electric Literature
I bought clock in and out cards. I made productivity charts. I kept track of facets of writing (journaling, plotting, editing, first drafts). I made x and y charts (X being time Y being output, X being moon cycles Y being creative satisfaction, X being exercise Y being quality of work). I made pie charts, venn diagrams.
All Good Science Fiction Begins This Way, Los Angeles Review of Books
I stand still at the corner, mesmerized by the street signs — Madison, Halsted — because not only do I not recognize the names, it suddenly dawns on me: I have no idea where I came from or where I was going, what city I am in, what my name is, and I do not even know the year.
Buried in Our Stories is the Family Tree, Vitriol. Quiet Lightning
In the mountains in Santander, Colombia, the father passed down the secrets to the sons, who passed the secrets to the sons, who passed the secrets to the sons.