I don't know who I am because my mother does not know who she is

My mother was never really a part of her mother, except in flesh and bone. My mother’s mind has always told her she belonged among the greenest of mounds, amongst women with head coverings. My mother is not pious or soft spoken. She is loud and filled with imagination. She was born on the sixth day of the twelfth month and the woman who helped birth her stole something from her. “Empuja”, she says to my sixteen yr old grandmother. “Empuja”. Out came my wailing mother with the umbilical cord hung across her chest like a sash. This is a sign of power. A gift handed down to my mother by our ancestors. A gift to heal and to see before things are done. It is known that birth helpers, the greediest of their kind, steal newborns power as a payment for their help and so, my mother’s power was stolen from her. Many things were stolen from my mother at such a young age. At the age of 5, she was left in the care of her uncle, a man whose belly was large like a sea animal care. My grandmother, h…


This is the second time I see you and you are no longer a little boy. You're much taller, your hair, you've let grow. You are a young man with a crown of cornrows. We meet in the city, with your dad, at a sidewalk cafe. You walk away from my view. Maybe to pick up our drinks. 
Your dad speaks to me this time. He's no longer the brooding man on the couch. Your dads much older since I last saw you. His eyes are droopy but they rise when he speaks of you and when he smiles. His freckles show more; on his nose bridge, on the high part of his cheeks. His dreds are thicker but the color is lighter, like brown, smoky, dusk. His glasses are the same thin metal frames from always. He tells me how well you're doing. How well your both doing. How everything is well. I mention your grandmother- I heard about your mom. I reach out and place my hand over his- I'm really sorry. Your dad's bottom lip quivers and he gives me a nod. 
You come back to the table and sit there. I can…

Al quien it may concern,

Yo soy Mexican.

I no longer live on the bridge

between my past and present,

I am the bridge

and my lengua is


Mexicans in Chicago Since 1945


Just Feel

these words you reading
                  are me.

if you need more,
                        you aren't feeling me.


I like when our home is clean

everything piled up nicely

like snow

We Fly

our language isn't broken phrases
but limbs of speed

handshakes in forms of wings
conveying hope in the everyday

holding each other up
from the grounds

mud deep in caged parks