I remember listening to my mom’s romantic Spanish music,
my dad’s cumbia band and my sister’s violin recitals.
I remember listening to the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s
and early 2000s.
I remember eating the diversity of foods,
from Mexican to Guatemalan,
to Chinese and even Mediterranean.
I remember looking at my plate,
imagining if it was a festival of colors.
I remember eating my mother’s food,
richer and finer than bland school lunches.
I remember strolling through an alley
just to get to my grandma’s house.
I remember my birthdays,
my nose pressed onto the cake
and playing with my sister, cousins and neighbors.
I remember hearing the horn
and smelling the bread and sweets
when the van came to the streets to sell.
I remember hearing street vendors
hollering to attract customers to buy food.
I remember going to church
and hearing my dad play the organ
that echoed the whole room.
I remember walking the streets of Cesar Chavez,
only to accompany my mom with her errands.
I remember listening to diversity of sounds and music
when I walk in the streets of Boyle Heights.
I remember looking at art in bus stops,
trashcans, walls at convenient stores and schools.
I remember coming back from school,
only to listen to my mom watch “El Gordo y la Flaca”
and “Primer Impacto.”
I remember getting ill from my stomach
and getting my appetizing remedies such as crackers
and 7 Up or Mountain Dew.
I remember school dances and events in elementary school
that only brought me joy.
I remember going to Hollenbeck Park,
only to feed the ducks bread and tortillas.
I remember going to family reunions,
where I had to greet everyone.
I remember family trips going north of California,
looking at the beautiful scenery of beaches,
forests, mountains and plains.
I remember wandering near the ocean shore
and hearing the waves like it was a harmony in an orchestra,
a church choir or an a capella group.
I remember drawing and listening to music
believing that I was watching a movie
of my own creation.
I remember dancing in parties
and getting lost in the rhythm.
I remember looking at my art progress
and dreaming that someday it will
come to life.
I will remember that someday,
whenever I leave my home, Boyle Heights,
if I will ever be known for my art or talents
and if I will ever come back for a visit,
I will never forget.