by Zora Engalan
I lay my head against the cool car window,
and watch the glowing yellowed bodega signs and graffitied walls inch by.
Out of the corner of my eye I see a little bodega,
and I smile.
I don’t know what city we’re in.
45 minutes away from home, dark, no street lamps glowing
All I know is that Jahia is scared.
I can feel her anxiety from the passenger seat
And all I know is I don’t know if I should be scared too.
“All you need for old men to look at you is pussy”, Jahia says
“All you need is to be exotic”, I say quietly, to a car full of pretty brown girls,
eyes on the bodegas blurring together as we accelerate
My little Manila Sunrise long gone.