§1: Perpetual Translation

§1: Perpetual Translation

Years and thousands of miles.

Walking, hopping trains, riding buses, surviving on your wits and sacrifice and sometimes, the kindness of strangers. The fact of your presence here is a testament to your strength and smarts and will to survive.

You shrug and say it is the grace of God.

Here is the Mariposa Port of Entry. Here is straddling the two faces of Nogales—Sonora and Arizona—universes apart. But when you roll your “r”s they sound so much alike.

Mariposa. Butterfly. An earthbound grub reincarnated into an airy winged creature that flutters as free as a breeze. For a moment, it’s possible you believe that metamorphosis is available to mere mortals too.

Holy Mother Monster City

Holy Mother Monster City

MAYBE: a pregnancy is a loaded gun. 

I CAN TELL YOU THIS NOW:  For two years, in my early twenties, I worked as a counselor at a secret shelter for pregnant women in Jerusalem. I was relatively new to the city those days.

HOLD UP A SIGN: Welcome to the underbelly of Jerusalem.  

THE WOMEN: Rich, poor, middle class. Moslem, Jewish, Christian. Religious and secular. Israeli, Arab, citizens, legal immigrants and illegal refugees. Ages 13 to 36. They all possessed wombs that worked. They all, for mostly ominous reasons, had to hide their pregnancies from the world. 

A PREGNANCY IS A SECRET ABOUT A SECRET: the director of the shelter used to say. Beneath the city's mythic cloak of holiness were the stories behind these pregnancies.

THE STORIES: Sex, power, race, rape, religion, money, and sometimes even murder.

These Days

These Days

These days, no one wants to talk about it. The answer is “I can’t talk about it.” The same five words released in a warm, slow leak, uttered in the same, tired inflection.


November 9 picks up Twitter and scotch. It learns boardroom and braggadocio out of a need to understand. It wears the same t-shirt until the words wear off. On the eighth day, it puts away the pins and the shirts and the stickers and the signs. It wears mourning whites and throws on shovels of dirt.


December waits for the truth.