Split Custody

I left home last night

And got home this morning.

Te digo que llegué a casa por fin. 

Back home it was raining in the chilly black air;

Here at home it’s humid with an endless blue ceiling.

Tal vez la humedad me hace bien después de ese invierno de castigo.

The manner of speaking is musical;

It’s got a lilt you’d have to know to listen for.

Es que noo-mbre, pucha vos, ya llegastes, gracias a Dios.

The lilt that is the song stuck in my head when I’m home;

I can’t stop myself from parroting.

Hasta mis amigos mexicanos me dicen que hablo igual a ustedes.

It’s like split custody, and you love them both;

They just take care of you different.

Dos países, dos padres, que me cuidan bien.



She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi (pleasant); call me Mara (bitter), for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” Ruth 1:20

You were born

because they put nothing on

when they tried to force their dolor into each other.

You grew up

because what else to do

when receiving just enough aceite to keep the cogs turning.

You laid down

because he made it happen

for himself even though it split you open like a coco.

You made eyes

because what else to offer

when that is all they’ve ever wanted and tienes hambre.


Amarga, bitter at the world, bitter at me,

bitter at the men, bitter at your mom.

Dulce, could you ever change your name?

Will my good Lord ever sweeten up your taste?


She’ll be born

because your flesh was naked

though you yourself were covered inches-thick by muros.

She’ll grow up

because what else to do

when you brought her into this relajo and can’t blame her for it.

She’ll lay down

because you will lay her down

so she sleeps in peace and bathes in prayers and knows amor.

She’ll make eyes

because she is a playful child

and knows nothing else but hugs and games and confianza.


Amarga, bitter at the world, bitter at me,

bitter at the men, bitter at your mom.

Dulce, could you try to change her name?

Will my good Lord sweeten you up, just for her sake?

And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name… Revelation 2:17

O My People

O my people
         Perdida mi gente
What’s happening to us?
                    ¿Qué pasa por aquí?
Insight escapes me
                    La luz se me va
But know that I love you
                    Me muero por ti

O my bloodline
                    La sangre nuestra
Do you still feel the pulsing?
                    Palpitante en el barrio
The rhythm is slipping
                    Vestida en rojita
We’re skipping some beats
                    Se derrama en el suelo

O family! children!
                    Los niños y padres
Are we happy, so far?
                    ¿Así lo haremos?
I’m carrying your faces
                    Me tienen abrumada
The distance destroys me
                    Por la culpa que tenemos

O people! O loved ones!
                    ¡Dios mío! ¡Mi gente!
The money and autonomy
                    La locura que buscamos
Are nothing and nowhere
                    Nos esquiva para siempre
Let’s just go home together
                    A la casa ya nos vamos