Essays

Wired: My Father Says He’s A ‘Targeted Individual.’ Maybe We All Are.

I was 11 when my father destroyed the condominium where he was living. Searching for hidden transistors or other devices that might be beaming voices into his skull, he took a hammer to the walls, shoved his fists into the holes, and pulled off chunks of plaster. He shut off the power generator and cut the electrical wires in the walls. He put his ear to the floor. He ripped up the carpet. He called 9-1-1 …”

New York Times: The Border Realities Beneath The Fury 

“When we think of southwestern borderlands, many Americans think of half-abandoned outposts or quaint small towns with lone desert highways. Others conjure a more menacing, cracked-earth landscape patrolled by cartels …”

Lithub: Believing In The Animorphs Taught Me I Could Cope With Anything

“As a child, I kissed our pet frog, hoping he’d turn into a boy who’d protect me from monstruos. The frog failed to metamorphose, so I tried again. And again …”

Columbia Journalism Review: Latino Voter Apathy Reflects Disconnected Media

“California is home to 7.7 million eligible Latino voters, the largest such population in the US. When Democrats envision the “blue wave” that will wash the House of its Republican majority, they often attribute its power to Latino voter participation. That simplistic vision is perpetuated by media coverage that depict Latinxs as monolithic, and uniformly anti-Trump …”

Powell’s: A Father’s Metamorphosis

“Shortly before falling into a depression, my father created a beautiful garden in our backyard. He built wire mesh cages for hens, iguanas, cockatiels, and roosters. He stacked wooden logs to create enclosures for strawberries. He arranged rows of cacti. His face brown with soil under his cowboy hat, Papi was making us a Mexican Garden of Eden…”

Literal Latte: Juanita and the Beach of Fairies

“On April 23, 2011, during what is known in Mexico as Semana Santa — or “Holy Week” — I went swimming off of the coast of an abandoned beach at the edge of the northernmost jungle in the Americas, Los Tuxtlas, and a rip current sucked me out to sea …”