~ Conversation in the Plaza ~
I remember making the mistake of pulling out pesos to buy a meager five pieces of chicle from one little boy who asked. It was as if children manifested from the stones, the walls, and the fountain itself. It was the summer of ninety-six and my experience shaping my tongue was only in books and classrooms en los estados unidos. After the rest of the children had given up, you stayed. Reina, I remember sitting with you and my broken Spanish in the plaza of Cuernavaca. I remember you crying with your head on my shoulder, and the look of fear in your eyes when the older man chastised you. I remember attempting to find out what your dreams were and, perhaps more importantly, if you had eaten that day. I remember you patting me on top of my head which wasn’t yet calvo at this point. I remember wishing I could pack you in my bag and adopt you. Your innocence triumphed alongside your curiosity. My inadequacies scoffed at my hope. In the remote distance I could make out a mariachi, red tie loosened, singing the Beatles’ ‘Don’t let me down’ and praying, before I even believed in its power, that I wouldn’t let you down, even though I had just met you. I just wanted you to know that I remembered. I hope you found your way into living like the queen I remembered from your childhood. I remembered your name was Reina.
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