I’m happy to be able to accompany JC back to his home after years of living abroad — first in Rome, now in DC, the city which the Founding Fathers referred to as “Rome on the Potomac.”  We met in Lima in 1992 and I haven’t been back since.

We had a layover in Miami, and ever wanting to show JC just how diverse these United States are, a stop in South Beach seemed necessary.

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JC making sure we can figure out how to get to the beach and back in time

We dipped our feet in its warmth, and watched the other kids play until a storm blew in.

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The next day, we were in Lima, in a honeymoon suite in the family home. (Only 15 relatives live there now. Yes, only.)

Tia Casi showing me how she uses the flesh of chirimoya to keep her skin soft

Tia Casi showing me how she uses the flesh of chirimoya to keep her skin soft

A girl's godsend

A girl’s godsend

Hanging out at the market

Hanging out at the market

And with my sweet sister-in-law, Carlita

We walked for ten miles, through posh neighborhoods and coastlines, before returning home in a packed combi.

We walked for ten miles, through posh neighborhoods and coastlines, before returning home in a packed combi.

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Where the old piano was waiting for the right waltz

Where the old piano was waiting for the right waltz

and rock

and rock

Speaking of rocks, I’ll leave you with a poem I wrote after our memorable drive home from the airport.   Until next time!

Falling Star

— Sunday August 19th, 2013, 7:00 am, Avenida Peru, San Martin de Porres

Bleeding from the throat
the shirtless man was one
of many who hadn’t yet
slept. Others headed

to early mass, ever
thankful for prodigal
sons who ended up
far from this street –

with new tiny trees
planted in the median
between here, there –
throwing themselves

into foreign tongues
the way the ones
who stayed behind hurled
rocks meant to maim.

The comeback kid rode
through flying stones
in a van filled with gifts –
pistachios and peanut butter,

guitar tuners and neti pots,
monster high backpacks
and soaps that smelled
of sweet and nutty and pure.

And a woman from far away
with a ring marked by its silver
feather, which matched his own
wings.  While he delighted

in floating close to the firmament,
in this homecoming, he found
himself again, suspended
in the thick fog of the morning,
ready to drop onto soft ground.

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