What you want
unpretentious country folk with toothless grins and simple dreams of owning a washer
and my 10,000 watt, bicultural,
Eat, Pray, Love style.
What you expected were children
and my 19 year old, non-Ecuadorian hands molding them like clay into my idea of
No, Carlos. Your dreams are wrong.
Don’t be a farmer.
Be a vet, since you like animals.
In 3 months time,
I’m on a plane, though
and Carlos, here, with his uncle’s cows and the dreams I planted and
I know that “Third World”
had you thinking lack,
had you thinking charity,
but I’m the sponge here, soaking-
my body bloated off Ecua-love and potatoes.
And when I wear the pink parka you packed me,
-which I assume you assumed you’d see in pensive photos overlooking majestic snow-capped mountaintops-
I paint 19 blocks of Riobamba pavement
a rosy shade of standard adolescence, instead.
You thought extraordinary would change me.
Turns out, extraordinary is ordinary in a foreign language,
well-traveled is well-funded and curious
and my quest to “change to world” should start where I started,
in my own community.
perhaps I didn’t need to leave in search of myself, after all
but perhaps, I did-
to realize it was there all along.