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So This is What my Body is For

I pulled the maroon mini-curtain away from the van window to see how close we were. After making the seventeen-hour drive from Ohio the day after Christmas, driving up to my abuela’s house in Miami, Florida always felt like entering a whole new world. The Cumbia music shuffled out along with her house slippers and the smell of her tamales. I lived with my parents and older sister on the same country road as my maternal grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. This yearly adventure was the only time I’d see the equivalent on my dad’s side of the family. He was the only one from his family go to Ohio after their 1970s arrival in the U.S. from Guatemala. Returning to all things familiar is a weighty gift. One of my cousins was only a few months older than me and playing with him was like having a brother for one week of the year. Even at age five he was already my informal navigator. I leaned on his expertise to traverse the Guatemalan part of my cultural heritage and for boy-girl relation

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