A Hand to Hold.
I hug my pillow. It’s the 19th of June.
“Black Skin, Black Faces, Black People Make Black Magic” on the speaker in the living room.
The night before, I typed one of my closest friend’s names into my phone to congratulate her on the great news. We awaited a decision for years.
I see her. Her community. Our community.
“Good morning girl! Happy Juneteenth! I hope you have a wonderful day. Love you.”
She sees me. My community. Our community.
For a year, I woke up on my pillows in her land.
A vibrant culture. Young students on bridges stretching their thumbs upward at 3:25pm. Cumbia music blasting, carpools of family members exhausted from fumes, a finger waving side to side to signal a clean windshield. You should see the way the dust dances with the sky, back and forth like the neighbors. It is pozole on a cold Friday night. A mother walking her daughter to an imaginary boundary with a kiss goodbye.
Biweekly errands of adventure require extra planning, toll passes, pesos, and patience. Children and adults do life in two countries, learning, working, and dreaming. Languages crisscross like the Rio Grande.
What is citizenship when you exist between lands?
“You can make it better, why don’t you, love?”
Three weeks ago, we ate ice cream cones in the rain. Her long black hair down her shoulders, giggles escaping her lips, a birthday present, hug y kiss on the cheek as a greeting.
Doesn’t my next-door neighbor deserve the exact same opportunities as my neighbor that lives down the street or around the corner?
“I’m still focused on the goal and not what’s hanging on the walls.”
Our character is only measured by how we treat others. And it is ridiculous to believe that a twenty-six-foot fence could separate a friendship like ours.
Yesterday we celebrated and today we continue.
When my sister takes a step forward, I feel the rhythm in my soul.
How easy we forget.
My friend is the artist of this painting. If you would like to support her art, please follow her art page at https://www.instagram.com/artecocodrilla/. Thank you for reading.