When he goes to her in the morning, I listen for the words I know: buenos dias, ojo, pelo, bébé. The morning words will be simple ones. Nouns.
I remember nouns.
I can remember most numbers, too, when we sit on the floor and count blocks. I often forget siete, so I start over, hoping it will come back the next time around.
She tried to imagine how the heart would arrive.
He’d left her at midnight, her tiny, blue-gray boy. They’d taken him to the operating room to prep. The heart, they told her, should be there by 5am.
Throughout the night, she could hear the helicopters taking off and landing from the hospital’s helipad. She could hear ambulance sirens, too, pulling up to the emergency room on the first floor. How would it arrive? Which sound belonged to them?
You have never heard of Belfast, Northern Ireland, or the IRA. Never shared a room with anyone other than your little sister, Erica, who will sleep in your parents’ walk-in closet while an eleven-year-old Irish exchange student named Paula takes her bed.
This is how your parents have explained Paula’s coming: In Northern Ireland, the Protestants and Catholics are fighting. You are one of several families who will host children from both sides with the hope that one day, as grownups, they will remember that they are not so different from each other.
Starting a new business shortly after moving into an entirely new state is not advice anyone would give to a budding entrepreneur. In November 2015, I officially registered Hem + Haw as an LLC in Virginia, the state I’d been born in, schooled in and lived in as a quasi-adult for more than a decade. Four months later I was surrounded by boxes in a new apartment in New Orleans.