Layla and I walking Julio around the neighborhood. Layla is barefoot. Right down at ground level. She’s in the details, all of them. Julio’s leash. The brick sidewalk. Geckos scattering in front of us.
I’m up in these other details. Getting ready for the move to Argentina. Calls to Bank of America. There are all kinds of distances people make between each other. They start with their own children. Their own parents. It doesn’t matter how far away you live. It doesn’t matter if you sleep in the same bed.
“Juilo’s goin’ to Argentina,” I tell her. She knows.
“. . tina,” she says,
“Who else is going to Argentina?”
“Mami,” she says. “Papi”
“And LAYYYY-LA,” I say. I hear this last part come out in a voice that doesn’t sound how I feel. Then I say, softer, “You know what’s in Argentina?”
“There’s all kinds of rios there. And mountains. We could walk like this and maybe see a ciervo. “
We keep walking.
“You know what else there is in Argentina?” I ask.
“Muchas nenas,” she says. Lots of little girls.
“Muuuuuchas nenas,” I say. “Muchissimas nenas.” I say this and we keep walking. We’ve been broken apart these last few weeks. Mami and Papi screaming screaming. Not as many trips with her to play with nenas at the parks. I look at her hair. I’m telling her what I want and she’s telling me what she wants.
We get to the end of the sidewalk and I ask her “cross the street or go back?” Julio stands there panting.