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Mami has a timeshare in heaven
can’t afford a seaside condo
never has to cook
not one meal
the dining table cooks for her
atol de elote, pupusas, pho, chinese food, boba, and Taco Tuesday tacos

Mami’s timeshare is right in her price range
her happy place
cumbias play, tears do not flow
the landlord says “no crying for
dead relatives in El Salvador”
no feast for el dia de los difuntos in heaven
only entree after entree for Mami
atol de elote, pho, boba, pupusas
Taco Tuesday tacos, one dollar Spam musubi

Mami hears a knock on the door
lets me into the timeshare
I’ve finally come to visit
carrying three bags of takeout
conchas, sushi, and chicken vindaloo

the food on the table is rotten
the paint on the walls is chipped
Mami is third-world thin
I feed her

she refuses to chew



Ruben Reyes Jr. is an MFA candidate in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His writing has appeared in The Florida Review OnlineThe Acentos ReviewThe Harvard CrimsonPidgeonholes, and other publications. You can follow him on Twitter @rubenwrites or email him at rreyesjr1996@gmail.com.
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10 Aug 2020

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