A Space for Women of the World
En el distrito de la Misión, las flores crecen del concreto
los niños saltan de los volcanes
revalsando de los callejones
las abuelas caminan con pan en las manos
y mi alma teje raíces sobre estas cuadras sagradas
Románticas amorous and painful on rotation
me pregunto, if you remember how we met.
Blank page of road, short and extended version,
led me to you. Medley of 60’s and 70’s classics
filling the van as we pushed north––the closest
our little familia of three would get to Chevy Chase vacation.
Hopscotch jumps from sprawl to tightly knit, your walkable landscape
safer than football field size blocks––my little girl refuge.
A place to count on, feel the touch of cool air in my lungs, hunt
for marbles and ice cream on Mission.
Destitute, the ghosts followed us. The grandfather
I met on his last round passed on an hour south. My father’s father,
who never lived in this country, played billiards, chalked late night
Zócalo stories way before I did.
Shedding familial epidermis, I learned to dance
with animas at el Río when there were more folks,
less hipsters. Counting steps between numbered streets,
I have never lived on any block as long as I have here. Erupting
from the freeway, I wrapped my arms tight around
these painted city corners.
Asked el tecolote to report these lines for me, scrawl them in wet
cement, scatter them on coffee tables, so everyone will know why
I sing you románticas, amorous and painful.
Los evangelistas les gritan a las esquinas
los murales en las paredes se ríen de respuesta
en el distrito de la Misión, la gente baila sin pareja
a su propio ritmo, a su propia manera*
*Original song. A romántica for my neighborhood.
Leticia Hernández-Linares has performed her poemsongs throughout the country and in El Salvador. Her writing has appeared in newspapers, literary journals and anthologies, some of which include Theatre Under My Skin, Street Art San Francisco, This Bridge We Call Home, U.S. Latino Literature Today, and Crab Orchard Review. In 2001, she founded the event series and artist collaborative Amate: Women Painting Stories. Mucha Muchacha, Too Much Girl is the title of her spoken word c.d. and forthcoming poetry collection. The Creative Work Fund, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and San Francisco Arts Commission have awarded her grants for her various projects. For more information, visit: [www.ciguanabaink.com] and [www.daraluz.net].