Sharline Dominguez

A story on impermanence


Sharline is a native New Yorker who was born on the island of the Dominican Republic, but moved to the United States as a child. She grew up in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (not Industry City) and has lived in different neighborhoods around the borough. She enjoys discussion about politics, legalities, global histories and any kind of literature that centers historically marginalized narratives. She is always thinking about how to bring her physical and psychological experiences living between two places (the Caribbean and the United States) together or at the very least, in conversation with one another.

Instagram: @shars908 


I was a warrior in another life, equipped with full, perky breasts, strong, firm legs, and a runner’s spirit. I ran and ran until my knees ached and burned, looking for food to feed my two children. I was a woman who foraged through the grass, even if it was taller than me, looking for insects to praise and call my friends. Sometimes, when I am wide awake in bed either in the day or nighttime, premonitions about who or what I was, and the forces I carried with me, consume my thoughts. I lay quietly, allowing the memories I don’t yet have to guide me along the new journey I may take in my next life. When it rains outside, I immediately begin to think about how there are exactly three kinds of rain. The first is a hard, jarring rain that seeks to ultimately jolt me right out of my seat, then up and out my windows. The second is a soft, delicate rain that feigns innocence even though its only purpose is to soak and wet everything upon contact. Finally, but not least, is the third kind of rain that is one which occurs in passing as in that it stops as quickly as it began. I like the third kind of rain most because it is forgiving to those of us who don’t understand it.

I wish everyone I met was like that, but that’s too much to expect and demand because like the rain, human beings and animals are ephemeral. Transitory. The usual, twin rains forming within clouds in the sky are targeted and purposeful — they are not meant to last. The soul of the Universe has taught this fact to me, particularly in those moments when I’ve cared enough to listen. With its voice bellowing right over those rainy clouds, the soul of the Universe also creates fog so that I can’t always visualize clearly. I like the third kind of rain because for a moment, under its glory, I can’t see, but then I can suddenly see again, as if I’ve arrived at some kind of important revelation. Rains reveal and then erase the grime coating their lies and dogged opinions. They all mean nothing, so exclaims the Soul of the Universe to me. It says, “Listen to me and the rain my family creates every now and then, and you will never find yourself lost.” Rain goes up against time with a smile on its face in the same way I describe my favorite kind of rain meeting my hair, cheekbones and fingers, eagerly waiting to be bathed as I look up to the sky above. A blessing in water. I wonder if there’s a fourth kind of rain I haven’t met, felt or heard yet. Welcome, third kind of Rain. 

Intolerable, introspective and in a realm of constant questioning and thinking, I am in concert with other folks on the path to mental and physical liberation. The natural world around me, especially the rains I’ve previously described to you, are my water to drink, bathe and nourish the seeds that are patiently waiting to grow within my womb. I am moving and transforming along with the earth around and under me. I am seen and unseen at the same time, constructing my own lenses from which to arrive and depart, both happening simultaneously. I can’t imagine living without a voice, whether it be self-imposed or involuntary. My voice has been silenced more times than I am able to count anymore. I can’t imagine ever being told again I couldn’t express myself through the written or musical word. It is oppressive and incredibly unfair. I can’t imagine living in a place where the word is ostracized and excluded from appearing before any major decisions are made. I believe black and brown folks are the salt of the earth and no one has been able to debunk that, so when I proudly exclaim that I was a warrior in another life, I am speaking with conviction.


© The Acentos Review 2020