in the corner Chelo sold sweet tamales for her girls to have a place in college in the corner Reynaldo told of the Christ who loved us so that he hung alone in the corner a man got stabbed over a wallet with no change and a picture of his only daughter in the corner three children sold carnations to bury their grandmother who died of blood cancer three months ago in the corner the Mariachi band played trumpeting hymns to their Virgin mom in the corner moon weeps just a little longer rain drops wet the ground in the corner life an ebb and flow of those who will inherit the earth

death of Joaquin

it starts off by an off beat Gregorian chant afternoon belly bloated with heat reruns of Felix the Cat on TV in his past there is a cave maybe he will have to retrace his steps there upon death as they say drool found on his face they gossip abscess on his left leg old black leather shoe scuffed Cuban heel by an original LP cover of the BeeGees to love somebody the irony thick as his moustache neighbor woman ratted red beehive hair hail to the Virgin Mary cat lady eye liner black lipped chiquita vampira cried to the fuzz that she’d gone to check on him on account they fucked every two months navy blue jeans creased to cut cement Pendleton blue white and gray cigarette burn holes fourth button missing from bar scuffle at Footsies last May Fruit of the Loom classic wife beater still stained with the blood of his grandfather a beloved heirloom his Marine days led him astray in the tunnels of the mind alphabet soup G issued pharm cocktailed with torture death and some bombs upon closer inspection Det. Mullen said he has a tattoo with the name of Belinda on his left breast and the cross con safos por vida mark on top of his right hand directly above the thumb crippled by a Derringer at the sweet age of twelve tomorrow was supposed to be the visit between he and his estranged MIT son who goes there on a scholarship won Joaquin had planned to gift him a gold plated LeCross and his Purple Heart medal for enduring a three year involuntary vacation for his country at the Hanoi Hotel

Morrissey en tricolor

durante Agosto a las 8 de la noche

hace mucho calor

compramos helados y cantamos

con nuestros Walkmans

los melancólicos himnos

de Morrissey y Los Smiths

somos la juventud con tristeza fina

emoción delicada

que ya no se puede expresar

con los métodos de los White Fence Boys

en El Este también hay neblina pobreza y destitución

pero también hay cultura costumbres y tradición

también tomamos té y café y hay playa

al fin del tren

entendemos ironías como nuestro ídolo

y aunque se enoje la abuela ya no comemos su cocido

que no sabe que la carne es muerte

los domingos en el cementerio

tratamos de besar a las muchachas

pero solamente en nuestros pensamientos

nuestros lentes grandes nos separan

somos la juventud nueva y media rara

soñamos en cosas que nadie entiende

queremos más de la vida

en la madrugada en nuestras camas literas

nuestro héroe Morrissey nos canta a dormir

Morissey em tricolor

durante agosto às 8 horas da noite

faz muito calor

nós compramos sorvete e cantamos

com nossos walkmans

os hinos melancólicos

de Morrissey e The Smiths

nós somos a juventude

com muita tristeza

emoção delicada

que não pode mais ser expresso

com os métodos dos White Fence Boys

em El Este também há neblina pobreza e miséria

mas também há costumes e tradições culturais

nós também temos chá e café

e há uma praia no final do trem

nós entendemos ironias

como o nosso ídolo

e mesmo que a avó esteja zangada, não a comemos

quem não sabe que carne é morte

Domingos no cemitério

nós tentamos beijar as garotas

mas apenas em nossos pensamentos

nossos grandes óculos nos separam

nós somos a juventude nova e meio rara

nós sonhamos com coisas que ninguém entende

nós queremos mais da vida

no início da manhã em nossos beliches

nosso herói Morrissey nos canta para dormir

Morrissey in tricolor

during August at 8 o’clock at night

it is very hot

we buy ice cream

and we sing with our Walkmans

the melancholic hymns of Morrissey and The Smiths

we are the youth with fine sadness

delicate emotion

that can no longer be expressed

with the methods of the White Fence Boys

in El Este there is also fog, poverty and destitution

but there are also culture customs and tradition

we also have tea and coffee

and there’s a beach at the end of the train

we understand ironies like our idol

and even if the grandmother is angry we do not eat her cooked stews

doesnt she know that meat is death

Sundays in the cemetery we try to kiss the girls

but only in our thoughts

our big glasses separate us

we are the new and strange youth

we dream of things that nobody understands

we want more of life

in the early morning in our bunk beds

our hero Morrissey sings us to sleep


Chato wasn’t sure what to expect. He’d heard the legends almost every weekend. His fists curled into themselves, not quite tight, not ripe to make a punch. Through the sheet that separated him from the rest of the living room guests, he heard the women speaking. Some weeping, some whispering like the noise of ninja stars in mid air. Chato thought about Ernesto and his eyes watered a little. Glancing down to find a tee shirt to wipe his face, Ernesto’s acceptance letter to UCLA reproached him. Chato comforted his pain by scrolling through his phone to call Chino and the crew. No answer. Chato looked up the wall and smiled at Ernesto’s awards. The rage flooded him. In between blurred thoughts, he could not understand how he and Ernesto had survived so much and suddenly cancer took down the person who meant the world to him.