He began telling me his story—his passage on the Mariel Boatlift, that flotilla of undesirables— reluctantly at first, mainly to put a stop to my nervous chatter.
“I was sent to prison for falling in love with a classmate. Fausto had the head of a puma, and he loved me back. His mother reported me for corrupting her son, that’s what I heard. He was only a little younger. His skin was lighter than mine, we say un jabao lindo. We never did anything but kiss.”
He kissed me, chastely, to demonstrate their intimacy. He blinked slowly so his long lashes brushed my cheeks.
“That was our sex.”
Alongside writers Felice Cohen, JP Howard, David Groff, Ron Goldberg, and Tom Cardamone, I read from my short story “The Marielito” at the OUTspoken Pride Reading Series, a collaboration of the East Midtown Partnership and Publishing Triangle, at the Society of Illustrators. Thanks to Rob Byrnes for organizing. “The Marielito” is part of my collection of short stories due out in October from Rebel Satori Press.