Nov/Dec 2018 • Vol. XL No. 6 Nonfiction |

The Third Territory

My baby was born with a full head of black hair. I marveled at her, in shock after twelve hours of natural childbirth, running my hands over her tiny fingers and feet. I stared into the black pools of her eyes. My first thought as a mother was that she looked nothing like me; after all these months of connectedness, my body building hers, she startled with her individuality. Our blood mingled in the throbbing umbilical cord and yet she was simultaneously foreign: part me and part her own person, part Mexican and part Ohioan, born into a liminal space, which, through her birth, I finally called home. Jorge phoned his mother at her house in the Sierra of Oaxaca, connecting our hospital room in Columbus, Ohio—with its daffodil brightness, its large, glass-paned windows, its fancy equipment, its waxy sandwich wrappers scattered around a huge birthing tub—with a tin-and-cement casa in the piney mountains. In Ohio, rain was streaming silently down the clear panes. In Mexico, I ima

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