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i believe in the matriarch of things. i believe in overdressing. i believe in moisturizing. i believe in red eyeshadow, cute underwear, and leftovers. i believe in the sun. catch me praying to the refrigerator. catch me making hymns out of the windows. i know the goddess of beds personally; we lay together and collect all our suenos; catch us dozing off in the blankets to the soft hum of the pillows. and she believes in overdressing, too. catch us dancing with heels and hoodies. bachata, cumbia, anything by rihanna and the shameful harmony of saying no. i believe in my abuelita. gorditas. picaditas. brujas. freshly painted nails. same hands in the fire. hips orchestrating the circle. the laugh that fills an entire the room, no corners empty of a smile. i believe in the kitchen. abuelita made it sacred. i believe checkered tile floors lead me the way home. i believe in home. yellow bricked. brown skinned. a hug that almost bruises and eyes that don’t look away. i believe in nicknames. mamita, chulita, pinche cabronita. i believe in la verdad, the way my mom tells it. the way my abuelita doesn’t want to but will say it anyway through clenched teeth and bruised voices. i believe in my bed. the goddess and i made it sacred. that’s where all my dreams and prayers have slept and stayed. i believe mis mujeres have taught me everything i need to know. my tias gave me hoops, my abuelita the sun and prayers, my prima chisme; my mom gave me all of her secrets, her how-to’s, her shortcuts, her echale ganas kisses, her knuckles unbloodied. i believe it takes more to kill us. i believe we are angels, wings of gold and broken heels, won’t catch us tripping on the way to heaven, we just fly.

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