Coming Home By Yesenia M Coughlin

Coming Home

I swirl the rice with my hand
clouds of milky starch gather in the water
the oil fries the sofrito, the tomato, the sazon

My first steps were on the island, not
that I remember, but Mami tells me it’s so

I stare at the milky starch of my skin
Aceite, sofrito, tomate, sazón, arroz
A phantom limb, an ache of longing

If I take my next steps on the island
will she remember me?

Olives salt the tip of my tongue
a memory of words half translated
Ven a mi. Ven a mi. Ven
a casa comigo

Mami runs after piragueros
on the streets of San Juan
parcha, mango, coco, fresa
dancing between each one
her hips hear the sound of the island
and mine twitch in response

Her arms catch me, her brown skin
warm in the sun, and she spins me
around and around to the beat of
the wind making music with the trees

Bienvenida, bienvenida, bienvenida
a casa mi hija.

By Yesenia M Coughlin


Yesenia M Coughlin is a junior creative writing major at the University of Central Florida.

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