As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Lauren Espinoza – Poetry

How to manage a hangover in the Rio Grande Valley (a beginner’s guide):

  1. Sunglasses: put them on.

  2. Mrs. G’s – their number is (956) 668-TACO (8226).

Order breakfast tacos, pick up, eat.  Go for the barbacoa tacos;

if vegetarian, the potato and egg.  Ask for salsa.

  1. If you live in Edinburg, move to McAllen.

Fucking someone the night before so you don’t have to bear

the 20-minute drive home means a less classy hangover the next day.

  1. Pelo del perro: go outside to pick a grapefruit off the tree

in your backyard, juice it into a glass. Add whatever tequila

you mistakenly ended your night with, top it off with Topo Chico, drink.

  1. Do not recycle away that glass bottle of Topo Chico quite yet,

you’ll need those agua mineral bubbles after you’ve finished the Big Gulp

(refer to Step 7).

  1. For lunch, try the menudo, if you don’t like pancitas floating around

in your soup, go for the pozole.  The Mexican-grandmother-Jesus-magic

in the hominy will make you will feel better. Keep your sunglasses on while eating.

  1. Go to any Stripes, buy a Big Gulp Lemon-Lime Gatorade.

Big Gulps are bigger & cheaper than the 32 oz Gatorades

(the plastic cups are even refillable for next time).

  1. Go for a swim in a nearby pool (not a canal).  It will always

be warm enough for a swim & there will always be a pool nearby.

  1. Turn on your computer, find an episode of Teen Mom. Know that

however bad you feel, at least a toddler & a camera crew

are not following you around as you sweat off the alcohol

into the humidity of the Valley air, as you think that breathing

will get you drunk again.

  1. On weekends, Mexicans bar-b-que in the afternoon.

Find someone with a Tia or a Tio having a cookout, show up, if you’re lucky

there will be fajitas, mesquite grilled chicken, homemade rice, H-E-B potato salad,

& a hielera full of Bud Light.  You’ll be feeling good enough by now to crack

a beer with a Tio, talk about the Cowboys or the Spurs, & convince a primito

to hustle you some candy from the piñata. And so begins your pregame.

  1. Repeat.


i believe i can make you love me with a hotdog & handcuffs.

i believe my spleen is erupting in a volcano of beer & twinkies.

i believe that eyebrows, if left unattended, will reach out & consume wayward children.

glow in the dark dinosaurs are the reason meteorites are so attracted to earth, believe it.

also, glow in the dark dinosaurs exclusively eat vegetarian enchiladas.

i believe the rigid social construction of male/female dichotomy has led to the existence of cell phones.

i believe tanlines.

i believe kittens are smarter than me.

i believe i could be

by your powers combined, i am captain awkward.

i believe that i only exist in the bedroom.

i believe that i only exist in the bathroom.

i believe bocces & sassafras.

post office boxes are storage facilities for mail order brides.

i believe all men in nice suits on sportbikes are lawyers.

i believe escapularios can only be worn as nipple tassels on the coldest of summer nights.

universal belief: white-washed kachina dolls should not wear ethnic garb.

i believe the statue of liberty wears a thong.

i believe zombie jesus eats vegetarian enchiladas.

i believe stilettos should not look like sneakers.

i believe that if i were to die in a tragic accident and my body be mutilated beyond recognition you would know who i am by my voice.

Lauren Espinoza - headshotLauren Espinoza’s poetry has appeared in an anthology selected by Naomi Shihab Nye entitled Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25, in print at The Mas Tequila Review, online at The Acentos Review and Whole Beast Rag, her fiction is also online at Label Me Latina, and she has a poem forthcoming in NewBorder: Contemporary Voices from the Texas/Mexico Border published by Texas A&M Press.  As a Mexican American, she contributes to the literary landscape by being the graduate assistant for CantoMundo as well as an inaugural fellow in the Letras Latinas Young Poets Initiative.  Currently, she is a graduate student in the M.F.A. Program in Poetry at Arizona State University and holds a graduate certificate in Mexican American Studies from the University of Texas-Pan American.

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Issue 3February 14, 2014
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