Lo que me llevo

the girl who steps off the airplane
is not the same girl who got on it.
Spanish words fall mangled from her lips—
English vowels stuck in her mouth like peanut butter—
but the words do fall,
a hesitant cascada,
whose roar will someday fill the valley.

the girl who boards the mícro
is not the same girl as two weeks prior.
she has learned how to tell the driver
that she needs to get off at the next parada,
and she does so. confidently.

the girl roaming Avenida Libertad
with her headphones blaring Chilean rap
is not the same girl that she once was.
she is an insomniac,
and very, very anxious,
but something about
the pacific sunsets—llena de colores,
slow walkers—con paciencia infinita,
and the cadence of Chilean Spanish,
has awoken a new spirit within her.

the girl who steps onto the airplane
is the girl she had always dreamed of being.

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