Mi Dos Casitas
by Jacqueline Bernabe
Highlighting the beauty of my two colorful homes.
Mi dos casitas. My two little homes.
My two little homes, both stained with pink. In New York, it’s in the bookbags, pens, pencils, and books I have lying around. All tired from days of constant writing and studying. In El Salvador, it’s in the hibiscus drinks, desserts, candies, sold in the vendor carts. All tired from days of constant ogling from the local kids.
My two little homes, both stained with green. In New York, it’s in the Metrocards my friends and I use (and often lose) that take us to school, work and movie theaters. The small card being witness to the laughter on the train and the anxiety that comes with being home before curfew. In El Salvador, it’s in the trees surrounding the exit of our only airport. The small airport being witness to cries of mothers seeing their kids off, but also the cries of mothers seeing their kids come home.
Girls Write Now On the Other Side of Everything: The 2023 Anthology
Do you know what it’s like to communicate with your family across a salty ocean’s divide? Do you want the sun and moon to enter your home with stories written in embers? Do you seek voices that will punctuate the darkness? Welcome to the other side of everything. It’s the other side of silence, the other side of childhood, the other side of hate, the other side of indifference, it’s the other side of sides, where the binary breaks down. It’s a new paradigm, a destination, a different perspective, a mindset, a state of openness, the space between the endless folds in your forehead, hopes for tomorrow, and reflections on the past. This anthology of diverse voices is an everything bagel of literary genres and love songs, secrets whispered in the dark of night, conversations held with ancestors under the sea.
My two little homes, both stained with orange. In New York, it’s in the orange makeup bags my sisters and I share. These small bags cause many childish fights that turn into late night bonding moments filled with jokes and love. In El Salvador, it’s in the oranges and papaya grown and sold in markets. These small fruits turn into fresh drinks that cause dinners to extend longer, filled with joyous stories, folklore and memories.
My two little homes, both stained with blue. In New York, it’s in the Salvadoran flag my family owns-representing culture, determination, and joy. Shaken with vigor every time any of our people win a sports game, give a speech, and receive an award. In El Salvador, it’s in the clear blue sky. Smiling with joy as it sees Salvadoran people grow, laugh, love, and succeed.
I wanted to create a piece surrounding my culture-which is something I’m deeply proud of. The idea of using colors to connect El Salvador and The Bronx came from my wish for the reader to visualize my two little homes. I wanted the reader to have a clear image of what my eyes see. Working on this piece has taught me just how important sensory details and visualization are, and these techniques are something I want to continue incorporating in my future works.
Jacqueline Bernabe-born and raised in The Bronx but with roots going back to the little country of El Salvador. She hopes to share her ideas and hear the ideas of others in the Girls Write Now community. Jacqueline is excited to take her pen and paper (and the Google doc) and continue writing as she dives into the Girls Write Now world. If she’s not typing away with her manicured nails, you’ll find her studying on the Lehman campus (Renaissance HS), trying new foods, going to movie theaters or binging Criminal Minds for the 3rd time.