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,

“Ahhh.”

 

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

to declare,

“Yes, that’s

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

carpeted halls,

he heard his chest sing

un himno indocumentado.


Antonio Lopez is a poet.

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