for lorna dee cee
Weldon Kees was brown as hell,
Hart Crane as well
and El Louie was afraid of la jefita,
I repeata, I repeata,
life is not what it appears to be,
at least, not to you and me.
The Aztec poet was a fallacy
invented to keep the Gary Sotos away,
but them suckers got their way anyway.
Henry cowered over his pot of beans
folding tortillas to use as spoons
in a Rio Bravo anthology.
The Papalote tecolote
muttered Who Who Who in Spanish
and wetback Poe answered, “Nevermore!”
Carmen Tafolla’s freckles
belonged in junior high back then
on her skinny thighs.
La Bird hung out
with her home-girls
in a third grade Third World.
Henry himself was just a mocoso
wiping his snot with his sleeve
in Miss Turner’s sixth grade class.
Later his poetry was white as hell,
Mr. Bones’ as well,
but the Chicano Renaissance was around the corner
and even though he barely
grabbed onto the caboose,
Henry’s never turned it loose.