by Elena Mackey

“Mamá, hazme un cafecito porfa.” 

The perfect ratio is in her blood. 

There’s no recipe for me to follow; 

all my cups leave me cold, only dreaming of home. 

My childhood was in this kitchen, 

hearing her sing of two lovers in the campo. 

Her movements always so fluid, 

it seemed like the coffee pot molded to her hand. 

“Mamá, no olvides el azúcar.” 

I know she never would, 

pouring it in until it’s more sugar than coffee. 

It’s not preference, it’s our culture. 

She hands me a mug of sugar and coffee. 

It may be a hot afternoon, 

but the heat of my mug warms my core. 

Elena was adopted from Colombia by American parents. She’s lived in the United States, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic, but the D.R. is/always will be home. She is nineteen and living in Virginia while attending Liberty University, pursuing majors in Writing and Psychology. 

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