Tucán Over Vía España
A teacher walks up to pull me out. “___.” I turn distracted from the assembly, the African storytellers, but follow. We walk down the hallway to a small office in a corner of the school I never go to. A woman (skinny, blonde, should I tell this?) there behind the desk. She starts to ask questions about my family. “Your mother is going to have a baby.” “Yes.” She says, “Don’t worry, you will still get attention after the baby is born.” She says, “Do your parents do special things with you.” I say, “Sometimes we go to McDonald’s or Bonanza.” She says, “Don’t worry, they will still take time to do things alone with you.” She tells me that I look like she could blow air out her mouth and I would fall over. Alone later with my mother, perhaps over the phone, she says, “No more Spanish.”
Christina Vega-Westhoff is a poet, translator, and aerialist currently living in Tucson. Her poetry appears or will appear in 1913: A Journal of Forms, Bombay Gin, Fieralingue, The Dictionary Project, The Lumberyard Magazine, Spiral Orb, and JackLeg Press’s Witness Anthology. Her translations of Panamanian writer Melanie Taylor Herrera’s work are published or forthcoming in Asymptote, Ezra, Metamorphoses, and PRISM International.