The sun shines differently and the wind rustles the trees differently in Southern California, in LA
Something about the palm trees something about the arboles del sol. The constant rustle, the source of which is the tallest palm tree.
The sky is blue blue blue broken by a jet a trail of smoke
The scent of the wind is different. Fire and motor grease and freeway smog and factory smoke and taco stands and carne asada and Korean barbecue and lazy cigarettes
The air is warm in the spring, feels like a grandmother an abuela and you can smell her perfume sometimes. You look around and it’s just the other grandmother ambling around. You smell more perfumes. Aunts. Older cousins. Flowers.
You’re a Mexican Catholic and you’re inside of a mission and you don’t know what to feel. You’re hyperaware of your external makeup. Two weeks ago you posed for a picture, as a multiracial person, indigenous, your roots exactly being lost but probably yaqui maybe Mexicanero definitely malinche, and white, and you know those, definitely French definitely Spanish. Other faces like yours around the mission, silent, taking pictures. The silence, sometimes, habitual, sometimes reverential, yours sometimes choking. There’s you standing beside you, scowling, spitting in the face of Junipero Serra, wanting to make the woman inside of the archdiocese archives uncomfortable, want to make her look at you, look.
You feel her, the growling the anger, quiet, twice. In the Madonna room. In the Church. When you are on your knees.