Clarissa A. León

Clarissa A. León is a Colombian American writer based in Summit, NJ. She is an alumna of the literary arts workshops VONA/Voices and Lighthouse Writers. She is currently working on a novel that attempts to answer questions, both personal and political, about belonging, attachment, identity, and home. Learn more at

Night Shifts

You learned to say “I need a job” in English at the JFK airport to anybody who would listen. That’s when they put a mop in your hands. So you started mopping, and then you stopped smoking, stopped drinking, or at least that’s what you told me you did. Maybe it was when you had Elizabeth, and before you had us, that you stopped having fun.