Aracelis Girmay
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I'm Aracelis Girmay, and this is, "For Estefani, Third Grade, Who Made Me a Card." Elephant on an orange line, underneath a yellow circle, meaning sun. Six green, vertical lines, with color all from the top, meaning flowers. The first time I peel back the five squares of Scotch tape, unfold the crooked-crease fold of art class paper. I am in my living room. It is June. Inside of the card, there is one long word, and then Estefani’s name: Loisfoeribari Estefani Loisfoeribari? Loisfoeribari: The scientific, Latinate way of saying hibiscus. Loisforeribari: A direction, as in: are you going North? South? East? West? Loisfoeribari? I try, over and over, to read the word out loud. Loisfoeribari. LoISFOeribari. LoiSFOEribari. LoisFOERibARI. What is this word? I imagine using it in sentences like, “Man, I have to go back to the house, I forgot my Loisfoeribari.” or “There’s nothing better than rain, hot rain, open windows with music, and a tall glass of Loisfoeribari.” or “How are we getting to Pittsburgh? Should we drive or take the Loisfoeribari?” I have lived four minutes with this word not knowing what it means. It is the end of the year. I consider writing my student, Estefani, a letter that goes: To The BRILLIANT Estefani! Hola, querida, I hope that you are well. I’ve just opened the card that you made me, and it is beautiful. I really love the way you filled the sky with birds. I believe that you are chula, chulita, and super fly! Yes, the card is beautiful. I only have one question for you. What does the word ‘Loisfoeribari’ mean? I try the word again. Loisfoeribari. Loisfoeribari. Loisfoeribari. I try the word in Spanish. Loisfoeribari Lo-ees-fo-eh-dee-bah-dee Lo-ees-fo-eh-dee-bah-dee and then, slowly, Lo is fo e ri bari Lo is fo eribari love is for everybody love is for every every body love love love everybody love everybody love love is love everybody everybody is love love love for love for everybody for love is everybody love is for every love is for every body love love love for body love body body is love love is body every body is love is every love for every love is love for love everybody love love love love for everybody Love is for everybody.