Mireya Vela

writer and artist


On the Bus

“I’m visibly pregnant. But I’m scrawny from months of vomiting. I’m 20 pounds lighter than I should be. I’m wearing tights under a beige baby doll dress and brown Mary Jane’s. My hair is pulled back in a ponytail. I’m blatantly aware I look like a kid, even though I’m 21.

When I open my eyes again, I find that the man next to me has pulled out a switchblade. He’s caressing the end of the blade with his finger as he talks to me or to himself or to the bus…”





“A kid stopped screaming when he or she was tired, but I didn’t learn what the child was trying to tell us with this behavior. What was he or she trying to communicate? Was the child unhappy or scared or angry? Was it out of the realm of possibility that the crying and yelling and biting was not happiness run rampant? What was the child trying to tell us?

As a culture, we hadn’t considered that these kids—who were often dumped into this facility—were something other than what they had been labeled. They were the disabled. We were the abled. We never considered that they might have something to teach us…”http://noblegas.org/issue-205-3/mireya-s-vela/voiceless/



Touch: Tocar

“Her words rang like a beat in my bones while I was married, like the kind of buzzing that vibrated my body after it slammed up against a wall. My shoulders hit first then the back of my head bounced, cracking the plaster. The buzzing continued until the adrenalin kicked in. The pain would come later after the fear caught up. But at that moment, I wrapped my arms around my pregnant belly and tried to curl into a tight ball—to make myself small….”https://louisville.edu/miraclemonocle/issue-11/mireya-vela





Tiger Says Meow

“For many years, the fact that he lived in his own mind, in the safety of his own head, was understood by schools to be stupidity. But he was blatantly aware of what the schools thought. He wasn’t making eye contact, but he knew he was different and undervalued. He knew the schools had written him off. And you know what? He’d written them off, too. By the time Nathan was 10 years old, he had already decided that schools weren’t worth his time…”https://collectiveunrest.com/2019/01/30/tiger-says-meow/






The Bridge

“What happens when families don’t understand? When they can’t integrate? When they can’t intellectualize the world around them? When they don’t know the rules of how to fit in? They create myths. They create a collective understanding of the world. We create a collective understanding of the world. We become isolated…”https://collectiveunrest.com/2018/10/31/the-bridge/






Legacy of Rape

“Whittle the women down and fold them in. So that women know their place, their role. So their self never develops. So they are never individuals and never forget their legacy of service.

Perhaps that’s what my grandmother was really telling me every time she gave me lingerie…”http://www.notyourmothersbreastmilk.com/home?author=5bb10cdf1905f4bfa738fe34







“Huddled together, we looked like a family instead of a woman and child practicing to violate the law—hoping to violate bodies. She used a pillow to show me how to angle the needle and pierce the skin. She sent me home with the needle. My grandmother didn’t have many syringes. I knew this was a precious gift. I wondered as I walked home whether I could do what she did. She was acting as a comfort to those women. She was a violator and a liar, but they didn’t know that. Could I be like her?…”http://thenasiona.com/2018/11/06/doctores/







“On the other side of the wooden fence, I see a man leaning in to watch me. He reaches over the fence. He’s a stocky, leather-faced immigrant, wearing a light brown shirt. His hand, as he grasps is blunt and thick. He looks like my father’s brothers. I turn quickly to get a better look, but he isn’t there. He lives in the corner of my eye, as do all the rest of these men I see…”http://blanketsea.com/category/creative-nonfiction/

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