It started in the blazing heat of a Florida December,
a Puerto Rican madre and a bowl of arroz con grandules.
Rolling r's like hills in Arkansas,
Silent h's like SAT exams.
Four classes and two changed majors later,
Still not fluent, but progress is key.
At least my Southern accent is missing.
A Colombian padre hands me arroz con pollo.
It hits again, that eerie sense that I should close my eyes
and wake up in the relentless but rewarding exterior of my safezone.
I save mi dinero, every dollar.
The idea of studying abroad is what pushes me through
every lingering working hour.
Cuáron y Del Toro play on my screen.
It's the kind of thing you hear with your eyes.
You see with your brain.
You feel when you taste.
You know with your heart.
Yo sé con mi corazón.
The sensation exploding in the bloodstream,
A bottled desire to communicate,
A craving to be immersed,
to be fully engaged, in the world of los hispanohablantes.