I Don't Want to Live on the Moon
Hot pink - Flowers. A smack on the back. Matching outfits for young sisters. A kind of underwear for a person of a certain age, and only of a certain age. An accent wall in said person’s room. A furry pillow on said person’s bed. A personal website at a certain time, filled with glitter and other things. A jarring AIM font. A timely color. An outdated color. Something nobody likes. Or that most people like but won’t admit to it. A lip that won’t allow itself to be smudged, or that secretly wants it. A feeling of defiance. A feeling of, maybe, sometimes, being hysterical. A regret. Some hydrangeas and the flowers on your grandmother’s hibiscus tree. Euphorbia milii. A color that if allowed to get big enough will contain you.
Gold - Little hoop earrings, and big ones too. Curtains my mother made, couches she upholstered. Interior decor. The frame of a mirror on the wall, accents on a clock. Socks I once owned. Rings and necklaces and chains. A watch. Spray paint used to paint over boxes during Christmas to put our tree on. The edge of a ribbon, otherwise red, wrapped around the tree. “Contemporary Dominican tacky.” A choice to be mulled over. Pat McGrath Labs Gold 001. Opulent and cheap. The standard. A reminder to stay angry.
Transparent - Water, ice, glasses, for drinking and for seeing. Acetate sheets layered one atop the other. When your father is in a car and you’re outside, so your uncle picks you up and passes you to him through the driver seat window. A fear of being chopped in half. Airplane windows before you close them. Taking off your glasses and not seeing anything, while still looking at everything. A flash of light. A beam of light. Getting your eyes checked and being told you have cataracts, but not to worry about it. You’re young. A light mist in the morning, and dew drops on whatever is growing in your front yard. Being able to see outside as you’re being driven from the airport to the place you’ll live in. The inside of the grapes your dad’s cousin gave you as a snack for the ride. The water on the Hudson River, now, but not before, and not during the winter. The river your grandparents live near in the Caribbean. Being a river girl and not a beach girl. Not being able to fully close your apartment window during the winter. Getting a cold because of it. Runny snot and phlegm. Your face when you’re upset. Turning away so nobody can see it.
Black - An absence. A lack. Something inside me and not outside. Boots. A cool uniform. My father’s hair, dyed. Coffee, tea, mamba, Friday. One part of trigueña. Handles on a knife. A stereo system, a TV, old gas stoves. Old iron pots. Burnt rice. Nails. Your snot after drawing for too long in a closed room with charcoal. Some cousins, and not others. Panthers. My abuela’s dead dog, in the diminutive. A survival. Glaucoma. What I’ll see once the cataracts take over. What my grandfather will see sooner. Blood clots, almost.
Kiara Alvarado V. is a Scorpio born somewhere in el Cibao, Dominican Republic, and spent about a third of the first nine years of her life flying back and forth between there and New York City. She didn’t realize she had curly hair until she was fifteen years old, and if you don’t know what that means then you’re not Dominican. She got her first computer in 1998 but didn’t use it until 2002. She likes video games, but only if they’re good. When she moved to LA she realized how much she loved cold weather.