The girl has taught English:
She has taught the present perfect, she has taught the past simple, she has been patient, she has been proud, she has been impressed, she has been frustrated, she has felt like she has accomplished something good.
The girl has lived the city:
She has worked hard, she has watched her back, she has admired beautiful things, she has been disgusted with ugly things, she has navigated the concrete jungle, she has mastered the concrete jungle.
The girl left the city:
She washed the make-up off her face, she threw away her shoes, she had sand in her hair, she watched the sunset, she spoke in a foreign tongue, she swam, she was a dolphin that could survive inland, but for only a little while.
The girl cooked:
She didn’t have much money, but she didn’t need it, she bought a little flour, one egg, a handful of bananas and a piece of cheese, she mixed, she minced, she kneaded, she listened.
She didn’t have a rolling-pin, but she didn’t need it, she drank a bottle, she used the bottle.
She didn’t have meat, she didn’t have chicken, she didn’t need them, she filled the dough with salty queso, she filled it sticky bananas, she filled it with delicate white onion sprouts.
The girl has returned to the city:
She has taught classes, she has watched her back, she has worn make-up and shoes, she has been impressed, she has been disgusted.
She is dreaming about queso banana empanadas.
Original published Aprill 5, 2011, on tumblr as “El Presente Perfecto, El Pasado Simple y Empanadas”.