Friday, October 22, 2021

the last book I ever read (The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, excerpt three)

from The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio:

The Queens Zoo does not have a lion, which is the mascot of Milton’s favorite soccer team. Milton used to play professionally in Colombia, and then he played in a league of immigrant men every week in the park for years, before he was diagnosed with asthma after 9/11 and had to stop. Alhough he has mixed feelings about observing animals that are “trapped,” Milton takes lots of pictures at the zoo. He has never been to one before, and I wish I had taken him to the Bronx Zoo, which is bigger and better in every way. The only animals here are coyotes, elk, owls, pumas, lynx, bald eagles, cranes, alligators (seasonal), bison, antelope, peccaries, thick-billed parrots, and Andean bears. It is cold and windy, not a great day to spend time outdoors, and Milton is wearing a cream coat over a white puff vest, white sneakers, and a checkered gray scarf. I’m wearing a puff coat too, and sometimes when we pass our reflections on the glass panes of animal exhibits, I wonder whether a stranger passing us would think I am his daughter.

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