I used to walk half a mile from Tía Zoila's house to the
river; I bathed in it pretending to know how to swim.
eight, breathing, eating the constant heat of Mayuelas. The
river was my biggest alibi; its muddy path was crowded with
rocks, verdant ceiba trees, and buried mango seeds. I
came across floating mango pits—cracked opened—their
consumed to the bone. No one noticed their nakedness
floating by or sinking to the bottom of the river; I bathed
river hoping to rescue those seeds from drowning alone.
On my way back home, I’d jump from rock to rock, trickling
and mango seeds everywhere. By the time I’d reach Tía Zoila’s
house, I was dry, as if the river never happened to me.
CLAUDIA D. HERNANDEZ was born and raised in Guatemala. She crossed the Rio Bravo / Rio Grande with her mother and two older sisters when she was ten years old. She’s a photographer, poet, translator, and a bilingual educator residing in Los Angeles. She writes short stories, children’s stories, and poetry in Spanish, English, and sometimes weaves in Poqomchiʼ, an indigenous language of her Mayan heritage. Claudia holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her poems have appeared recently in Texas Poetry Calendar, Third Woman Press, The Acentos Review, Mom Egg Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She is the founder of the ongoing project Today's Revolutionary Women of Color.