Soliloquy: When right at the stoplight, your favorite Los Temerarios song is on and you
turn up the troca’s naked volume dial,
crooning to the anciana in a turquoise Thunderbird,
the monologues in every 80s Mexican song
“Como ha cambiado mi vida.
Desde que tú no estás.”
She pulls her roof back on y le gritas
“¡Wa- Wait! ¡Pero it’s a classic!
Onomatopoeia: When abuelito Güicho
hoisted nieta Mariana in the air, weighing at 10 kilos.
He bares his grizzly dentures—half pa’ asustarla, half por su peso.
Sunk in the green sofá, he squeezes her polka-doted lonjas
Until she summons a smile, y le contesta,
Tragi-comedy: Watching Groundhog Day,
an allegory white people can stomach,
where for us, days seem to repeat;
to see snapshots of Watts and Ferguson,
and not know which year is which.
Still life: A genre depicting mostly inanimate subjects frontin’ mobility,
typically commonplace hoodrats which may be either natural
(bumwine winos, coke fiends)
or man-made (redlining, mass incarceration).
With origins in white flight, famous works include
:“Rogelio closing in on a crush,”
“Alberto selling drugs on the side,”
“Jessica playing unofficial interpreter for her single mother
as she picks up their monthly WIC stamps,”
“Mrs. Hall standing courtside
to the third playground fight of the week,
watching her fellow children of the sun
beat the living shit
out of each other.”
Prestige: To bury me on the 3rd subbasement of the New York Met,
6 exhibitions away from the Mesoamerican gold
where the Columbian custodial lady
will spray Windex and sigh,
“Mira todo el oro que nos robaron.”
Solidarity: Laying down next to me,
the fading grimace of a sarcaphogus
cursing the cardigan-clad surveyors,
three weeks into a wheatgrass diet.
Tokenism: The alternative ending to Apocalypto, where the Aztec body
(of work) came tumbling down from the Tenochtitlán templo
further, further until un dia gana el honor
to hang in art galleries, thousands of supplications
away where bespectacled, MOMA-bound gizzards
flock on the floorboard acrage, flare their divine-right hocicos
worth me looking at,”
gargling wine and cheese,
over this poem’s altar.
Orgullo: When my father admits to me,
as he passes the bowl of cebolla picada for my mole de olla,
that he teared up when mamá played the first three minutes of my
poetry reading “en su iPhone’s e-speaker,” and the words, “lo que caiga”
boomed from a privately-endowed lecture hall, and into the
stains of his white cotton shirt
so that at work, when he marched up the hotel’s
he heard his chest sing
un himno indocumentado.
Antonio Lopez is a poet.