José Hernández Díaz
Moroleón, Guanajuato; Summer 2010
I remember waking up to rooster cries
at my Abuelo’s house, d.e.p., my Abuela’s
house. I drank a lot the night before;
I ate a lot, traditional. The cobblestoned
streets were greyish-blue; The salmon clouds
had veered with dawn. On a white-plaster balcony,
I smoked a filter-less cigarette; $2.00 a pack in México.
Behind the cathedral’s bell tower, mesquite trees,
My father’s ranch. I took a drag, then two, exhale.
Writer’s Workshop; Summer 2012
He said it was cliché for a Mexican-
American to have a tattoo of La Virgen
De Guadalupe on his forearm. He said
He had seen it before, and he was tired
Of it, frankly. None of the other students
Had any further comments. Twirling his
Pencil with the clock’s seconds hand,
The professor asserted we move on
To more important observations.
I sat in silence, workshop rules,
Struggling to mask the Chicano grin
On my face. Try telling that to a
Vato on the other side of town,
I thought. Go ahead and try it, esé.
José Hernández Díaz is currently working on his MFA in poetry at Antioch University Los Angeles. He earned his BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley. His work has appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading Series, Bombay Gin, The Progressive, Kuikatl, Poetry Flash, 3:AM Magazine (UK), Tan lejos de dios (MEX), The Delinquent (UK), El norte que viene (ESP), ditch poetry (CAN), Keroauc’s Dog (UK), Blood Lotus, Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Huizache, Generations, Counterexample Poetics, Revista Contratiempo, La Gente, BlazeVOX12, Emerge Literary Journal, among others. He has edited five novels for Floricanto Press.