Little, Little, Little, Big, Big, Big

Mami always said that there’s only two of us, as if caring for a sibling, for another person, was just a task, the size of which could be determined with a linear equation. One more sibling? Simply add one to x! Not challenging. Eres lo suficientemente capaz, she’d say, with her ever-flip tone. And I decided that was true. In my determination to show this capability, I completed every grade school craft twice in the time my classmates accomplished it once, sometimes even politely asking my teachers for extra materials so that I could duplicate them. To the ones that asked why I’d say, with Mami’s same flip tone, one for me, one for my sister. Usually, Mao’s versions were smaller, and when I brought them home and presented them to her I’d say the little one’s for you and the bigger one’s for me because you’re little and I’m big: little little little, big big big. Mami would frown and say, solo tienes una hermana, Yamilette. Eso significa que solo tienes dos trabajos, cuidarte a tí y cuidarla a ella. And I carry this idea with me still, between ginger fingers and careful breaths, with my understanding of its fragility broadening every time I see something else break.

Yamilette Vizcaíno Rivera is an Afrolatinx creative who breathes, thrives, and writes best at intersections. She currently holds a BA from Vassar College and a position as an educator of the young people of Queens. She aspires to someday write something that doesn’t make her father say “¿Y tu en serio quieres que yo lea todo eso, Yamilette?” Her debut chapbook, Little, Little, Little, Big, Big, Big, is forthcoming from The Hellebore Press in Summer 2022.