I could be pretty
“You’re not even Porto Rican!”
She moved her pink plaid arm over me to close the drapes. That’s what moms do. They kill everything. I could’ve watched the parade’s revelry if I went to my own window. But I needed to get out to that railing, out to my dress.
If I could just put my face over the dress as it hung from the railing, if I could just wave like it was my quinceañera…
Then I could get rid of this Polish forehead. Just for a moment. I could greet the crowd below. I could be pretty…
* Author’s note: In Chicago, in the Humboldt Park neighborhood (as in many neighborhoods), the cultural landscape changes frequently. What was once heavily Polish became Puerto Rican. The neighborhood currently hosts an annual Puerto Rican Parade.