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Essays & Longform

The Lifecycle of Butterflies

When I began to see monarchs fluttering by my rooftop in Morelia, capital of the state of Michoacán, I felt as if I were greeting old friends from home in this most improbable place. Like me, these monarchs were foreigners. None of them had ever been to Mexico, where their great-to-the-nth grandmothers had abandoned their spent grandfathers the previous spring. So far as these butterflies could possibly know, they were simply obeying an itch to fly a few thousand miles, as if by some collective whimsy.


PUBLISHED IN DEFUNCT MAGAZINE AND ANTHOLOGIZED IN DIMESTORIES’ TENTH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION OF 3-MINUTE STORIES. The boy in purple moon boots thumps up to the gate howling“¡Mamí!” for hello. My boyfriend—“mother” to an orphan boy who knows no men—avoids my eye. We came to this hogar, to Ecuador, to teach English: I want; you …

Fire Ants

BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING “NOTABLE”/PUBLISHED ON VELA MAGAZINE:  In those first months living in El Salvador, had I walked down a village street and seen young men leaning against gaping doorframes, their eyes steady upon me, I would have read the wrong story. Then, I could barely speak, let alone interpret …