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Upcoming Publication

This poem was a popular one when I read it around town.  I don’t think any of my brothers actually heard it. (Thankfully!) It was originally published in Chocolate City Latina  (Swank Press, December, 2005), but it and four others from that book will appear in The Afro-Latino Poetry Anthology, edited by Melissa Castillo Garsow, which will be published by Arte Publico Press and released later this year.



mis hermanos


My brother works for Allstate

lives in Sterling Whites, Michigan

and always sells the most

flags for the VFW

he makes love to an anglo

every night

and wears a coiffure

that irons out the waves

as his perfect basso profundo

obscures the rolling

lengua de Puerto Rico

My brother works as a mechanic

for a Mafia-run garage in Manhattan

they call him Mike

when his name is Guadalupe

the pomade he uses

to press down the kinks

gives him the look of painted plaster

and the anglo he makes love to

every night

washes the grease stained

pillow cases in lye soap

he forces his belt

to the last notch

accentuating the brawn of his torso

and brags about

how good his bosses treat him

as he clips the beeper to his belt

My brother doesn’t work

he listens to country western

and drinks muchas cervezas

at night

in the back of his pick-up

w/the anglos he meets in the bars

sometimes he picks fruit

but worries that the sun

will make his mestizo skin

too brown

he speaks Spanish sometimes

when he’s making love to the anglos

porque las chicas

think it’s sexy

but to nos padres he always

screams that we are “AMERICANS”

and should hablar inglés solamente.



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Published inPoetry