Nopales, poetry written by Maria J. Estrada at Spillwords.com
Diego Lozano

Nopales

Nopales

written by: Maria J. Estrada

@drmariajestrada

 

Don’t eat with steel fork
Eat with fingers, timeless maíz
Patted out with each heartbeat
By your madre and abuelas
Your soul weaved in saliva
One trozo at a time

Don’t drink Coke
Drink yerbabuena y café con leche
Café, ground in el metate
By your tíos and padrinos
Your tongue soaked in justice
One inhalation at a time

Don’t dream of tomorrow
With gold monedas and dollars as your path
Dream of el ranchito y los Aztecas
Dream of running through dusty calles
Filled with loud aspirations
Your eyes looking forward,
Hacia better world

Don’t cry tristeza
Over los fascistas y puta migra
When they come
Breaking through your front door
Like perros in heat
Tearing up the kitchen
Crushing your jarros with agua dulce
Using the bolillos to crack your teeth
Wrapping your tongue around your neck

In an ageless noose

Punching your eyes into a black blur
Wrenching your heart out with their laws–
As your children are

Ripped

Away

In a miscarriage of humanity

Don’t cry tristeza
Over los fascistas y puta migra

You are the nopal dream
They fear so much

Let them tremble.

Maria J. Estrada

Maria J. Estrada

MARIA J. ESTRADA is an English college professor at Harold Washington College. In the summer of 2020, she founded Barrio Blues Press. The mission of Barrio Blues Press is to elevate the voices of emerging writers and to help build a cooperative society through writing. She lives in Chicago’s south side with her supportive husband, two remarkable children, and two mischievous cats.
Maria J. Estrada

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