Boston

Ceramic cups clink in trays and eggs are scraped off sizzling griddles. Dishonesty disguised as humility slips through false smiles and seeps into the shiny white subway tiles on the walls like coffee stains on teeth. Men in white, starched linens lean back in mahogany chairs, reading through wine-stain spectacles forbidden books on the science…

Training

Their backs are bent by the weight of years and backpacks, hunched protectively over their phones and books like mallards dipped beneath the water, their white tails exposed and vulnerable in the sun as the hold their breath and scour the bottom. Some gaze out the window, their eyes glazed while their minds bask on…

Honeybee

The bicyclists and joggers revolve along the esplanade like ants on a log. They glide through the twilight air, undisturbed by the flitting insects above whose wings reflect like gold leaf in the light. The water’s ripples applaud the finale to another day, blushing the proud sunset colors of the clouds in warm shades of…

An Ode

The warm kiss of the night air stokes the pit of my stomach I look up At Heaven, the heavens At Olympus, the galaxy The stars smile back, glinting against the pitch sky like pearls spilled on velvet The lights on Vesuvius dance in the heat over the water, the sleeping mountain on fire.

Hungry traveler

Waking up at 6:00 am that morning was hard. Not because at that hour the sheets are dewy, or that you need to take a headlamp into the bathroom, or because you’re exhausted from the hike the night before. As soon as we woke up on our last day at Tiputini, our hearts broke, for…

Tiputini

Cutting through the muddy eddies of the swirling coffee creamer river, I recognize the forest’s roar first as a highway in the distance, then quickly realize the sound to be howler monkeys establishing territory. A flock of green and yellow parrots scare and alight, the sight first making me think it’s an IMAX National Geographic…

Autenticidad

As we bump from bus to bus on the winding way to Cumbaya, the silence is disrupted only by the arrival of the daily habas vendor, loudly chanting the name of the beans over and over as he enters one end of the bus and exits the other, not selling a single bag. Everyone sticks to their…

Ecuadoriana

My life abroad is seen once again through the windows of a city bus. We board the Ecovia at 8:00 am in our Quito suburb, the diesel fumes parting to reveal street vendors selling aromatic roasted plantains and freshly squeezed orange juice. The bus squeaks and bounces as I try to remain standing in the…