cosechas lo que siembras

time is not a tool but a gift.

time is precious yet underappreciated,
time is flaunted as if it can be bought
time is universal, realistic, abrupt, yet abused.
and lately time is what i am starting to feel like i am running out of.

time has always meant a word for me
it has always felt distant and darkling
stuck in the past,
anxious for the future yet numb for the present.
and isn't it ironic that in the moment
where everyone's time seems to feel like it's on pause,
time is rushing, slipping, ticking,
as it escapes my fingers, the most it ever has. 

i want more than ever to catch up with it
ask it to slow down,
give me a break,
freeze it all despite the extremities of heartbreak and sorrow.

i want more than to ask it to let me stay a little longer,
the type of longer that will feel like an eternity. 

clock strikes 8am.
the time in my world
can be accounted for by the memories
in a one bedroom apartment
and the impatience that grew
with the 5 people living inside. 

clock strikes 10am
it is the hope that roots in my existence,
the hope that nuestra morenita has granted me,
i have worn her on my neck since i was born. 
i am protected,
reminded of the kindness
my heart is capable of across the multiverse.

clock strikes 12pm.
it is my mother's soft hands caressing mine, 
Serenity, the ones that are safe unlike no other,
i hope one day i can show her the peculiar wonders of the world
that which she has sacrificed to show me, if time allows.

clock strikes 2pm
It is the old photographs, flashbacks and billion of possibilities 
attempting to vanish into thin air,
haziness dawns on me.
i preserve every pinnacle memory of my timeline

clock strikes 6pm
evening, It is the party of 6 at the dinner table.
despite one being missing, an empty chair marks the spot. 
everyone rushes to pitch in,
traditions are the most treasured of all. 

clock strikes 8pm
it is the pain of every lost soul in these wicked streets,
the ones that were taken too soon,
but can be felt guarding our avenues at dusk.

clock strikes 2am,
it is the locals blasting reggaeton,
they’re the same ones that break into a fight,
police sirens ringing through my ears.

clock strikes 6am, 
it is the racket of the 4 train,
two blocks away yet it can be heard from my bedroom window.
disturbance in times of rest, but the core of these blocks

in my world, time would be captured in a capsule,
locked into the pavement, never to be grasped again.

i know once I'm gone, time can't be recaptured nor relived. 

so i ask time to remain still,
to not continue dragging me into an endless void of the unknown,
rather leave me to cherish every moment,
the place that i call home.

but that would be taking for granted the gift of time.

the truth it my home is forever chained
chained to the iron bars of my window sill.

time is infinite and doesn't stop for anyone
no matter how much i try to soothe the speed of time.

but THIS is raw,
THIS is infinite,
THIS is despite all the recklessness,
my sanctuary.

THIS will never change
even when time is passing by,
even when time is long gone,
even when time is out of my control, 
even when it can not be no longer be found.

within these pictures, the gift of time sits still.

Overview of Ana Carmon’s apartment building. Due to COVID-19 the neighborhood is more isolated than it ever has been before. Ana has lived here for 10 years, it is her home and the place she will be leaving when she embarks on her new journey to college this fall. April 29, 2020

Estela Pereda poses for a portrait beside her window.

Bronx, NY. May 4, 2020

Nostalgia. Scattered photographs of the Carmona family at the dinner table. Reminiscing on childhood memories while anticipating the ones to come. May 16, 2020

Estela Pereda holds a Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe medallion, a symbol of heritage in Mexican culture. May 10, 2020

A chain hanging from a hand can be seen through the shadows.

Lately its been feeling as if everything were at the palm of my hand. Yet as time passes, it begins to escape, and I let it because I have no control over time and its doings. May 11, 2020

A portrait of the Virgen De Guadalupe sits by the window sill of a building's lobby, hidden behind tree leaves.The portrait has been there for the past 10 years, and it is a symbol of hope and protections for the people residing in the building.  May 4, 2020

Fire escapes on Courtlandt Ave. There is a tension in the silence. Similar to the tension held between the present and the future, the unknown. May 5, 2020

Ana Carmona and her mother Estela Pereda pose for a portrait during quarantine. Quarantine has been a blessing in disguise having granted both Ana and her mother more time together. Bronx, NY. May 10, 2020

A candlelight vigil is set up by locals to mourn a loved one. This is not a rare sight, we’ve lost many in the Bronx due to gang violence and more than ever now with COVID-19. May 11, 2020

A candle is lit up at the altar in our home. May 22, 2020

Burned out candles amid a rainy day. They stand as still as time amid the chaos. May 11, 2020

2am, Local residents block the streets, drunk, mourning a loved one. Summers on the block consist of shattered alcohol bottles, and fights breaking out in between. There is a double meaning behind these gatherings because while they are what I am familiar with, they cause disruption in the neighborhood. Regardless, I wouldn't have it any other way, they are part of what I love most. May 15, 2020

Reflections: A broken bottle lies in water under a manhole cover. Memories become a reflection of who we are and who we may become. They become the root of our existence. May 16, 2020

Routine: The buzzer marks the one bedroom apartment where a mixed status family built a comfortable and serene home. May 4, 2020

Quarantine entry titled, “Letter to my future self” sits at the window sill facing the bodega. Nothing stays the same, but the view of locals strolling by remains. May 3, 2020

Time seems unaccounted for when I am with her. Estela Pereda sits on a mattress in her living room. Bronx, NY. May 10, 2020

A chain is knotted tightly on the iron bars of Ana’s window. My mother always told me,“cosechas lo que siembras,” you reap what you sow. I've made a home out what I've been given, not what I've chosen. But what I have chosen is what to do with what I've been given and that has been offering my love unconditionally despite its flaws. Regardless of where I go, I know where I have come from, what has taught me everything I know, and what has built me. Home can be whatever you want it to be. This is my home and it is what I hold closest to my heart. 

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