By Daniel Aristi

water broke
down in Cypress Park
– linoleum amniotic abruptly, in
a Taco Bell
craving –
and she’s so pretty, and so young, and thinks only por favor Jesús
por favor
no seas nunca
no seas como tu padre:
sus tatuajes yo los llevo
tallados en mi corazón.


By Melissa Castillo-Garsow
Fordham University, New York

Black Americans in Mexico
with raised fists and gold medals,
black socks, black scarf, long beads.
Airwaves filled with love, not war.
Draft dodging and war protests, while
ten days earlier hundreds fell
in protest-just miles away-when
Black Power ruled the Olympics.

When Black Power ruled the Olympics,
he thinks it’s a year of change.
My father: sixteen and a protester
occupies the University,
watches friends get beaten,
listens to the Doors and Jimi Hendrix, and
loves the Beatles more than anything
porque el cambio viene.

Ten days before they raised fists,
students, workers, poor, families, barrios,
inspired, unorganized, excited, convinced
of spontaneous revolution; so hopeful,
they send military radios and weapons,
ammunition and riot control.
The Pentagon, that is.

No fists, no beads or socks for dead Mexicans,
Imprisoned Salvadorean teachers and
murdered Brazilian teenagers.
Free love to Sergeant’s distortion, while
Yale admits women.

Too late to contemplate rebirth

By Paula Hayes Vasquez
Strayer University, Tennessee

Warm hands hug the dirt
Sifting cries of babes in
Warm, passionless night.
I am too garish to under-
Stand the pain of this unremarkable scene.
My mind can only take its unequivocal
Flight, soaring somewhere up beside
The upturned red jugs
That the mothers once used to catch the water,
Knowing as I do that even when the Fathers
Speak our mystic names a hundred times
(After the hundred years of war have ended)
Even then we will not be at peace. There will no rest
Inside the visionless and gutless graves of earth, and
Miraculously I will not be reborn—not into a small water-fly,
Nor a giant girl. War or no war, I have only this one life.
That is what makes it dangerous to abandon. And, that is why
Against so many pleas I cannot simply give it, my life, to you.
Soft jazz guitarists give a backbone of tempo to their
Matted mango lullabies, until I cry. I feel no-
Thing as I cry. Whatever it was
I once
Did feel
It is gone, taken its flight too
Like a fanatical upside down coastal bird,
That has forgotten its way back to shore.