Fall 2022

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MAGAZINE fall ‘22 volume XIII • issue I
Sabrina Sanclemente ‘25 English Editor Nikita Baregala Lopez ‘23 Co-Editor-n-Chief Monik Rodriguez ‘25 Co-Editor-n-Chief Kate Alvarez ‘23 Manager Sofia Gerlein ‘24 Manager Fiona Killian ‘24 Lead Design Editor Miriam Rice Rodriguez ‘23 Lead Design Editor Anila Lopez Marks ‘26 Design Editor Sofia Ruiz ‘27 Design Editor Luca Suarez ‘26 Design Editor Sofia Cruz ‘25 English Editor Meilyn Farina ‘26 English Editor Doren Hsiao-Wecksler ‘26 English Editor Yandelyn Patricio ‘26 English Editor Charlinda Banks ‘24 Spanish Editor Martina Herman ‘26 Spanish Editor Camila Murillo ‘26 Spanish Editor Alexia Camila Sánchez Contreras ‘26 Spanish Editor Laurie Tamayo ‘25 Spanish Editor Katie Williams ‘25 Spanish Editor Kenneth Anderson ‘26 English Editor

Dear Reader, When putting together this magazine, we centered ideas of change and love within community. While many of our long time members graduated, we welcomed the largest team SOMOS has had to date. And, although we did not seek out pieces of a particular theme, these ideas are reflected in much of the art throughout this magazine. How can we grapple with the impermanence and temporality of love? How do we hold love for homes which we may not always occupy? How does our art reflect our heritage, family, and ancestors? The works in this magazine represent the art of individuals with ties across Latin America. They celebrate our identities beyond what is often expected of Latinx creatives, exploring ideas of relationships, the environment, and home. Throughout this semester, our team has engaged in creating a more robust archive. We hope to bring to this edition the twenty-seven years of history, art, advocacy, and work of previous SOMOS generations. Our magazine has served as a place for the Latinx community to memorialize those no longer with us, amplify muted voices, and showcase the diversity of our community. For almost three decades, SOMOS has been an outlet to express frustration, anger, love, joy, care, and hope. We strive to respect and uphold this legacy. This magazine would not be possible without the participation and efforts from our amazing team. Thank you for your dedication, perspectives, and intentionality; this magazine would not have come together without each of you. Thank you to all the artists that contributed to this magazine from Brown, RISD, and beyond. And, more than anything, thank you to our families, friends, and community for holding, supporting, and growing with us. As a team, we are proud to create a space to uplift and publish Latinx creatives. We hope this magazine brings to light the diversity and beauty of our community.

Con amor, Nikita and Monik

SOMOS 5 j 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 30 31 32 34 35 36 Mariposas you are talking and Estoy En Línea Querida Hermana My Family in Photos The Magician’s Apartment mañana, misma hora an apple El Cantar del Gallo Blessings in the Wilderness Twoness Cayendo Pétalos de un Camino Una Mañana en Lima Lady Liberty Ode to Bushwick Divine Intervention Dystopian Angels Play Untitled (Pink Bead Weaving) Surgery The Body Lazos Colombia tan Grande y yo tan Pequeño (Todavía) off balance I miss her lips though my mother must wonder “Everything happens here... The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” I Don’t Know clamaras Llena Ramo
*cover and close-ups designed by
David Upegui jared Cetz Christina Daly Olivarez Yessenia Lobo Luca Suarez Luca Suarez Casandra Gutierrez Nikita Baregala Lopez Melany Veliz Miriam Rice-Rodriguez Valerie Navarrete Jessiel Castillo Maythe Vega Maria Belen Rios Sialer Avalon Lafosse Naomi Nesmith Luca Suarez Sean Riguera Colin Orihuela Colin Orihuela jared Cetz Daniella Pozo Martina Herman David Upegui Anila Lopez Marks & Astrid Larson-Sherman Charlinda Banks Rubelcy Herrera Yessenia Lobo gaby rivera Valerie Navarrete Nikita Baregala Lopez & Angelica López Cuyán
Valerie Navarrete

Palabras que se me escapan como mariposas que quieren sentarse en tu hombro.

Desde allí estas palabras quieren mirar tus ojos y encontrar toda esa vida que vive en ellos.

A veces las palabras quieren llegar a tu alrededor tan rápidamente que se les caen letras.

Estas letras despegadas caen en el suelo y solo las palabras incompletas llegan a tus hombros.

Las letras que se caen de ellas cuando vuelan, serían suficientes para ar mar una oración completa pero inútil. Quizás algo como: “Día hermoso con ojos vivos y vientos de reflexión perpetua.”

Quiero dejar que todas estas palabras lleguen hasta tu presencia aunque algunas estén imperfectas. Espero que estas mariposas, enteras o parciales, te puedan asegurar lo cual tanto te quiero. ¡Abre tus ojos! ¿Sí ves? Ahí llegó una palabra disfrazada de mariposa: “Amor”.


I try to look at you as long as I can because the world is going to end eventually and I have a shit memory and what if I need to hear the silly way you walk again to remind my heart that it’s supposed to beat and what if I need to feel your arms cocoon me again to remind me what sunshine feels like and what if I need to see you scrunch your nose at me again to remind my lungs about fucking breathing because you remind me of breath meaning you remind me of living like actually living and I needed that reminder because I had just thought of you proudly big smiling after managing to devour an unholy amount of my ice cream in a singular bite, taking a little too much pleasure in the whiplash painted on my face, and you took all of my breath away in the goofiest, most beautiful way.


on paper

Estoy En Línea Christina Daly Olivarez, RISD ‘26 pen

Si hubiera sabido Un poquito más de todo, Le hubiera dicho a Papi que te cante de la rana, La ranita que cuando me siento mal, me sana

Los días eran maravillosos, Me despertaba con mis rizos Hechos desastres Y vos lista para hacerme el acuerdo cada vez Que me adorabas, Nunca te faltaban las palabras

La casa siempre estaba limpia, Ay que me daba una rabia Cuando te asegurabas Que pruebe la comida y ensalada Que Mami dejó cocinada

Me recogías de la escuela Y caminábamos juntas siempre, En el invierno cuando las flechitas de nieve nos tocaban Y ni tenía idea de esas huellas Que se acumulaban En tu corazoncito porque mi inocencia y tu pena las soplaban

Hasta que un día nos despertamos Y me contaste de los daños Que te hicieron esos días y esas noches Que mantuvistes mi inocencia a la costa de tu niñez


Yessenia Lobo, Rhode Island College ‘24

Tenía ocho años, Vos dieciséis, Te llamaba “Mami” por accidente y me respondías con “que te calles” Pero no entendía los daños Así que me reía esperando que me beses

Si hubiera sabido Un poquito más de todo, De cómo me bañabas Y con la tarea me ayudabas

Mientras las demás Salían con amigas, Mientras nuestro hermano Disfruto su juventud sin pensar que todo fue en vano, Mientras Mami y Papi trabajaban, Vos admirando cada dibujo que los padres normalmente guardan

Vos a mi lado, Perdiendo pedacitos de la niña Que fue víctima del pecado De la cultura tan linda, tan fina Pero que lastima A las niñas demandadas a ser “mamá”

Si hubiera sabido un poquito más de todo, Que pena Que pude ser niña Porque aceptaste tu destino con un “ni modo”


My grandmother’s house has never been the most welcoming place to celebrate Thanksgiving. As you walk up the creaky hardwood stairs, it almost feels like you’re entering the gallery hall of a prestigious museum, where you are expected to speak in a hushed whisper and admire the ancient works of art from afar.Except instead of inspecting relics from a distant past, you are navigating porcelain cherubs, talavera vases, and unnecessarily graphic crucifixes. Which I guess are still technically relics from a distant past, but to me, they feel more like judgmental onlookers staring down from dusty shelves, watching my every move as I enter their sacred chambers. I quietly take off my coat and lay it neatly on one of the many plastic-covered couches. The living room’s floral wallpaper is hidden under the sheer volume of framed relatives; cousins, nephews, sisters, and uncles surround the room, creating a kaleidoscope of strained faces, crying infants, and stuffy suits. Some of the photos are a faded yellow, while others a stark black-and-white. Some feature graduation caps, some display a smiling bride. Some have wide-eyed children who are now jaded adults. I quickly scan the homemade wall of fame for my own grimacing face, which is unsurprisingly located between my cousin’s Sears photoshoot and my uncle’s first birthday back in ‘82. My crooked grin stares back at me in a way that feels both bittersweet and hopeful. I try to remember the last time I smiled like that. It feels like it has been forever. I take in this brief moment of solace before I am swarmed with the hugs and kisses of my relatives, who chastise me for growing so fast and compliment me on how handsome I’ve become. I smile and speak the little Spanish that I know, which is quickly drowned out under the sound of their excited chatter. There is no time for small talk, however; in my family, Thanksgiving is an uphill battle against time, and my mother leads the charge. I can hear the pots and pans violently clattering in the kitchen as she issues her commands, organizing my cousins into formations to tackle the evening’s many tasks. There are beans to be drained, chickens to cook, and empanadas waiting to bake. I quickly join the ranks and do my best to keep up, but I am always two steps behind the rest of my family. I watch as my father mashes potatoes, my mother fills arepas, my aunt mixes sangria, and my brother prepares the gravy. I watch my cousins frantically set the table while my uncle yells at the television and my great-aunt fills out crosswords. I look beside me and see my grandmother watching as well, a slight twinkle of pride in her eyes. Nestled deep within her wrinkles and folds, they swell with joy, speaking without words and saying what is unsaid; “Look at ourfamily and how far it’s come. Look at all the work and sacrifice it took to get here. Look at the determination we carry and the love we share. Look and remember this feeling as you live your life.”

The Magician’s Apartment Luca Suarez, Brown ‘26 digital

Te pienso cuando menos quiero. Cuando estoy a punto de olvidar, vuelves con tanta fuerza que regreso a quien fui ese día. La fragilidad corre por todo mi cuerpo y por dentro ya no soy la de hoy. Estoy fría y lo único que busca mi mente es tú. Tu cuerpo, tu cara, el color de tu ropa entre la multitud. ¿Dónde andas, mi idea ficticia? Nunca te tuve y ve como me dejaste. ¿En qué rincón andas? ¿Nos vemos mañana? Tengo vuelo el 28. Regreso en unos meses. ¿Nos vemos entonces? Dame otra tarde para olvidarlo. Agarrame así - tan juntitos. Bésame así, como si me quisieras. Deja que recorra mis dedos por tus hombros y te pregunte el por que de cada dibujo. Solo cosas de “en el momento” pero no de mañana, o del día siguiente. Sé que te pensaré cuando esté sola en mi cama y por unos segundos tu peso se sentirá real. Busco y busco, pero no te encuentro. La modernidad del romance - según ellos. Aun así, nos vemos mañana, misma hora?

Casandra Gutierrez, Brown ‘24

I tell you that I met someone once that was allergic to apples in the fall but not in the summer. You think I’m joking; you chuckle and tell me that you don’t think that’s true. And I simply stare back, wondering why you don’t understand. I say, “The chemicals...and the sun...and the seasons...they change something in the apple.” I defend this fruit, thinking that if I were an apple I’d want you to know I’m not the same all year; that when the sun sets sooner and it doesn’t go as high or when the winds get too cold and the laughter outside quiets I would also want to stay stuck to my tree: grounded, rooted, and safe.


Duré años en la cima de tal montaña, la cual todos quisieran estar: Comodidad. En ese entonces era un ser débil y vulnerable, encogido debajo de un plumaje pesado. Pero ha llegado un cambio de escena; traído por la obligación de saltar barrancos, y huir del lobo tirano hasta el amanecer. Donde me encuentro con el cantar del gallo, urgiendo la necesidad de repetir todo otra vez: prisionera en el ciclo vicioso del sobrevivir.

Melany Veliz, Brown ‘25

We must abandon the continuous steps, stay still among earth and delight while everything floats in floods of drought, everything swims like silks, joyful as sunshowers, something that rains and sings, a cause, a noise.

Between cherished silences and heard objects, between the full roots which destiny buries and digs up, there is a canyon that runs like a scar, there is a desert caressing the light of an arrowless bow, all of earth mending a hug.

Hide me, branches which my heart has adored in song, soft paths, northern summers, skin of men renewed by my heavenly tears, sun of the north of the rootless earth, give me a night without ease, an eternity in which I can forget my flesh.

I am enlivened by a downpour, I am healed in just one leaf, and through a needle disappears a valley of abundant wine, and I breathe in the air of mist that grows in the light, and for a frown that deepens, for a bitter mouth, for toes which the dirt would like, I write this poem which is prayer, more than a prayer.

Miriam after Pablo Neruda’s “Enfermedades en mi casa” Twoness Valerie Navarrete, RISD ‘23 acrylic on canvas

Jessiel Castillo, Brown ‘24

Eres un pétalo de una rosa, De una flor hermosa Cayendo armónicamente bajo el sol

En el suelo te espero con brazos abiertos, Y una lata de aerosol.

Hagamos travesuras Vamos, pintemos un mundo monocromo, Donde el único color que existe es el amor.

Pétalos de un Camino Maythe Vega, Brown ‘22.5 gelatin silver photogram

Hoy veo los buses más antiguos Siento el frío consumiente Las entrañas vacías ajenas No dejan de sostener el frente

Con los temblores que gritan La luna resplandece Ni una sola alma se mueve Pero mi mente no duerme

El reloj llama a mi retiro El deber escoge mis sentidos Si es que habrá un mañana Vale la pena pensar con calma

Entre los que abren sus negocios Y cierran las cortinas La luz se escabulle Sin filtros, sin cimas Escucho el llanto de una madre los pájaros cantan sin vergüenza los hijos corren para llegar Y nadie piensa piensa piensa Si fueras tú el cobrador Mirarías rostro tras rostro O moneda tras moneda Para vivir día tras día O hay alguna diferencia?

Maria Belen Rios Sialer
Lady Liberty

The streetlights were on Darkness melted into cerillium-soft sky Rich like currant wine, But the amber moon was subtle

In waves I found myself drawn out Castaway at sea Pin-pricked skin kissed liquid smooth bare Wading in the wine-drunk presence of the Bushwick air

And it was then that I felt set free La noche de Bushwick had claimed me

Static steps brought me running home Lungs aching, heart pining For what la noche will pull from magnetic dawn

And it was that certain borderless something

That melts piragua ice blocks On pregnant summer afternoons And made men slap down dominoes with gusto Yell “wepa” under bodega side shade

That certain borderless something

SOMOS SOMOS Naomi Nesmith, Brown ‘26

That birthed Spanglish words from multicolored tongues You learned how to breathe like this In- sunlight and reggaeton Out- jumbled words tumbling out double-dutch mouths The singsong language of Nuyorican love

On those days, hot like Heaven, Abuela said that the sun shines like this in Borinquén Head tilted, eyes aglow, and never smoking, only borrowing a cigarette But her plants are plastic And government buildings never had isla hues So she’d crush her embers and turn away

It was that certain borderless something That made her never leave sea Capsized in the Atlantic and left to drown on the way over Gripping photo albums and mother tongue I guess that’s why she learned to fear hard-stone english And lamppost warnings

— Naomi Nesmith


Divine Intervention

Luca Suarez, Brown ‘26 digital

The most beautiful land that Eyes have ever seen was Once a garden that produced The sweetest sugar cane nectar Feeding the celestial pedigree. A never-ending summer dream Grew fertile emerald highlands. Breathtaking hummingbird heartbeats Roses romance in Havana. Sandy beaches on the Caribbean Sea Ethereal golden-rose twilight.

But paradise seems more like a Cave where you hear the echo of Celestials whose grace has been drained. Voices have lost their warmth from the Thorn chockers that keep them in pain. And if you hear the echo again, It would be one from preceding waves.

This cave is also a crate for Angels kidnapped in hell. A Bolshevik purgatory trial is Katabasis for hostages whose Wings are cauterized with sulferic waste. Dystopia is the promised land where Freedom is meaningless

Equality = Mediocrity Curiosity

prefaces punishment.

Most of the new convicted are Numb to sensativities, colors, and aims. Their thoughts are corrupted. Their throats are burned. Their blood is poisoned with lead. Heavily drugged with hatred. Brainwashed with lies. Coaxed by fear. Hallucinating Nirvana but Bearing Cacotopia. Winged inmates don’t know what they can’t see. No light in their eyes no hope no dreams.



Colin Orihuela, Brown ‘24 digital “weaving” of screen print Untitled (Pink Bead Weaving) Colin Orihuela, Brown ‘24

The Waiting Room grabbed me by the hands and sat me down, told me to stop pacing, told me that if I keep pacing like that I am going to burn a hole through the floor, told me that if I burnt a hole through the floor, that would be a shame, wouldn’t it, that it would ruin the carpet, the specially chosen carpet that makes time pass so much slower than it already is, why am I complaining about time being slow says the Waiting Room, wasn’t it I that was just complaining on Saturday night at 9:44 p.m. while riding shotgun with my friend driving us on an impromptu Sonic’s trip that there wasn’t enough time in the world, that I wanted more time, that I wished time moved slow, be grateful said the Waiting Room, time is moving slower now, call it a miracle, so slow you could even spit and it would become a new postmodernist sculpture floating in the middle of everything, but don’t spit says the Waiting Room, time hasn’t actually stopped, just slowed, and it would ruin the carpet, the Waiting Room then holds my feet down, great says the Waiting Room, now you’re finally sitting, good job, but please can you manage to not make an earthquake out of sitting, things will be torn apart in time, you do not need to rush, and this is supposed to be a quiet space, you are the only one here, how are you managing to make so much noise, just sit still, here, the Waiting Room says as it proceeds to tie my arms and legs down with the extra thing of floss it grabbed from the coffee table holding the pretty little pamphlets, aren’t the pamphlets so pretty says the Waiting Room, here look at this one, see how nice they’re smiling, see how they are not making a sound, now you try that, the Waiting Room pulls tight on the #1 Dentist Recommended floss and says good, now be patient. But the floss was pulled too tight, and there is now a stain on the carpet.

SOMOS jared Cetz, Brown ‘24

The Body

Daniella Pozo, Brown ‘26 digital collage based on 3D body scan

Que las cuerdas de los lazos que los unían se esfumen, que decidan aligerarse después de tanta fricción. Que las ruinas insistan, que sea innegable que las corrientes generaron un sismo fatal.

(Ella se queda callada ante el monólogo que escucha. La sorpresa empuja a la corazonada contra su pecho. La sorpresa empuja a la corazonada contra sus costillas.)

Que las imágenes del pasado no la asfixien. Que las rencorosas letras la disculpen. Que los libros que juntan polvo sobre su mesa de luz no la resientan.

Que su carácter de melena y depredación oiga. Sí, que oiga el imperante silencio.

(Él la mira como mirándose a un espejo, y como en un espejo no soporta sostenerle la mirada: ve la mancha en su camisa, se ve desnudo, se ve solo.)

Que el mundo que habitan se desintegre. Que las palabras que en sus gargantas queman esperen pacientes su turno de ser articuladas.

(Incluso sin pronunciarlas, no tienen escapatoria.)

Que vuelvan a la vida en paz: ya todo lo peor ha pasado.

(Se abrazan el uno al otro y se despiden, para caminar el mismo camino, sin mirarse.)

Martina Herman, Brown ‘26

Cuántas Madres tuve. Cuántos hermanos y hermanas. Cuántos tengo todavía. Como he crecido yo. Cómo han crecido todos. Con ojos de niño, dejé a Colombia. Con mente de hombre volví a verla. Cómo mi país ha cambiado. Cuántas riquezas hemos compartido. Cuantas riquezas más debemos descubrir. Colombia, qué orgullo siento. Colombia, sueño de Bolívar. Culminación de esperanza. Canción de Dios. Cómo he crecido yo. Cómo ha crecido Colombia. Con amor en los labios puedo decir: Colombia tan grande y yo tan pequeño (todavía). Calor humano, calor Colombiano.

Cigarra que despertó para cantar con el mundo. Caimán con dientes de oro. Colombia, vida y muerte. Consuelo de los pobres. Cantina de los ricos. Colombia como hemos crecido. Cómo nos hemos enriquecido. Carretera a mi corazón. Carta de amor. Carbón de Caldas. Calidad como ninguna. Colombia, ¡la Gran Colombia! Compañera de mis sueños Camino de mi alma.


off balance

Anila Lopez Marks & Astrid Larson-Sherman, Brown ‘26 oil painting on masonite

i miss her lips though my mother must wonder if they smelled like piss ridden beneath her tongue sanctioned between my hips.

for just a moment i wondered whether i was fond of the wetness; long hair above my lids, but my eyes were closed again and hours passed.

she smelled of milk and broken glass begging to be mended searching for the hills atop my chest for any sharpness that may be left, and i lie beneath an aging floor, tile or wood—i could not be sure.

my body releases a chill (and creaks galore).


‘25 lego, magazine collage

It can be challenging for a mother when a father works fifty hours a week to support five kids. Growing up, my mother would drive from doctor appointments, to grocery shops, to three different schools, etc. My world was always on the run; I wanted to stay home but I couldn’t. So, to keep myself entertained, I would play with legos and magazines to pass the time.

“Everything happens here... The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” Rubelcy Herrera, RISD

Those winters I cuddled up to Mami Porque Papi wasn’t coming home that night

Because to be the best daddy for me, Papi’s gotta work overnight, So I’d hold onto your pillow so tight, Breathing in the leftovers of your cologne

While Mami’s voice soothed me to sleep as she talked to Abuelita on the phone

“Cuando vuelve Papi”, “I don’t know,” said Mami, “Quizás Jueves, quizás Viernes” All to afford a sundress I begged for at the store That Mami said we couldn’t afford But Papi said “como puej” this is what we work for Thursdays came into sight And Mami would tell me I could sleep with her again tonight Because you’d be back tomorrow So I’d sneak into your side of the bed, hugging your pillow to ignore the sorrow

That I get remnants of you That you leave for me to borrow, But I was little then, so I didn’t realize the resentment would brew And I wouldn’t be able to excuse the way you let our relationship remain so shallow, Or how you let America get in the way of me and you, Or how I’d grow up to feel so hollow Because Papi never left but if you ask him about me, he doesn’t know

“Papi, what’s your favorite color”, “No sé”, “Papi, what’s my favorite color” “No sé”

“Papi, tell me about your mother” “No sé que querés que te diga” “Papi, what was she like when you were younger” “Era una buena mamá” “Papi, did you guys get along with each other” “Si, más o menos”

Papi, the man I wished to know But the man who fell for America’s trap That a daughter doesn’t need him home to grow, That a daughter just needs food on the table and all that crap

Yessenia Lobo, Rhode Island College ‘24

Papi, the man I see now Who kisses my nephews And tells them “I love you” And my selfish side asks God, “why” and “how”

Because that man is revived and new After unlearning America’s view so obstructed and skewed, He’s not the man I knew

And yet, he still believes he knows me, And I let him believe that Because after all, it’s too late for me to plead for him to get to know me, Because after all, he did all this and all that

because i’m older now and I don’t know if I’m allowed to hate you or resent you be mad at you complain about you feel some type of way about you or hold it against you because as a dad, how couldn’t you know that we needed more than a dad who had a fear of being poor, I’m sorry for saying this, for sounding pissed at all the goodnight kisses from you I missed, I’m sorry, or am I, I don’t know

Because after all, he never got to know the real me I grew up to be Because this is how he was taught and raised to be, He didn’t know, And I still don’t know Much about him except for that pillow He left for me to know And remember he’s gone for just a few days now, But he’ll be back any day now, Because he works because he loves us, And that’s all I ever really got to know SOMOS 33

gaby rivera, Brown ‘23 nunca he tenido una flor favorita una de las favoritas de mi mamá se llama Clamara por algún tiempo, solía pensar que aquellas también eran mis favoritas

llegué a romantizar ese nombre Clamara convirtiéndose en el nombre de mi hija ¿qué nombre tan bonito no? Clamara

me esforzaba para aprender más de las flores de mi mamá, no me rendía espacio, mi memoria, para capturarlas todas pero aún observaba cómo mi mamá cautelosamente las bañaba diario comó las rociaba con amor comó las admiraba por las mañanas llegué a comprarle una Clamara a mi mamá se le murió la verdad, nunca me gustó el nombre Clamara sería alguna petición sería alguna súplica, alguna esperanza que ella a mi me rociara con amor como a sus clamaras

Llena Valerie Navarrete, RISD ‘23 acrylic on canvas

A group of flowers that have been fastened together and arranged; can be used as gifts or for special occasions

Common Name: Orchid

Scientific Name: Plants belonging to the Orchidaceae family

One of the two largest families of flowering plants; easily distinguishable symmetrical flowers; grow in almost every habitat apart from glaciers

I etched an orchid into my skin four months after I knew I would never see her again. This particular orchid was special because it was hers in every meaning of the word: in another life (or rather, this life for me but the one she had before) she had sat surrounded by her wall of perched plants and selected one to draw for me with a thick, black marker on a rough, starchy paper. I like to imagine she drew it sitting next to her tiny white dog, in between laughs at nonsense videos, not doctors appointments.

As the ink pierced my skin, I wished the lines and roots and stems would surround me, encasing my whole body in a home she cultivated for me. I look at the drawing on my ribs in the mirror sometimes, well frequently, well most mornings, well most afternoons and nights too. I wonder whether this now brown flower was once white or purple or pink, and, in between the wondering, I am grounded in the comfort of memories of a home that I will never feel again.

**this is a continuation of a collection in the Fall 2021 edition

SOMOS Nikita Baregala Lopez, Brown ‘23
SOMOS Angelica López Cuyán marker on paper

View the SOMOS Latinx Literary Magazine archive on Issuu.


Type set digitally using InDesign by the SOMOS Team at Brown University. Titles are set in Avenir Heavy 14, artist names in Avenir Book Oblique 10, and body text in Avenir Book 11/12. November 2022.


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