News Poetry: Cinco de Mayo

News Poetry: Cinco de Mayo

Mexican flags floating
in an abyss of urban pollution.
Corona beer
gushing onto calles
like Noah’s flood
taquitos de barbacoa
musica del rancho
folklorico para los jovenes
el grito de dolores
muchos colores
of mixed up groups
wondering if the doors
are truly open or if it’s time
to visit the past
wave amerikan flags
at half-mast
as a mirage of collective images
opens old sores
reminding power mongers
of stolen land
a broken treaty
being anesthetized
by modern day pulque
hops at their best
shots of tequila
to soften the pains of oppression
supported by corporate irresponsibility
sweetheart contracts
signed by tio tacos
in places like chipotles
cheap labor, political favors
as masses of people
pawns, transformed
into tricksters and teporochos
on both sides of a fictitious border
political slogans
watered down with mescal
a worm laying
on the bottom of the bottle
eating away at
what is left
of your political consciousness
salsa replacing ketchup
amerika’s number one condiment
while Mexicanos accused of replacing
Amerikan workers
die in barren deserts
on sojourns to work
in maquilas
owned by profiteers
transported by coyotes
who have replaced “el grito”
with howling noises
at midnight, as brown people
become experts at doing the limbo rock
mixed with una cumbia
while crossing las fronteras
con puertas cerradas.
It will all pass
La Raza will go back
to menial jobs on Monday morning
praying at mass on Sundays
making the sign of the cross
when they pass the church.
It’s Cinco de Mayo.
The aroma will disintegrate.
The streets will be cleaned up
when it is over. Revolutionary spirits will
be tucked away
into Mexican flags
folded, placed into
into old wooden chests
until next year.
Truths will be hidden
behind the backdrop
of street theatre
as city dumpsters transform
what was once Mexican land
into the red, white
and musical blues
of a people whose muse
will be laid to rest
into a coffin, only to rise
next year when “el grito”
seeps out of the decrypted wooden box
shouting liberation
for a historical soul unwilling to die.

 

Photo credit: Kitty Kaht Creative Commons, Flickr. 

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About the Author

Dr. Ramon Del Castillo

Dr. Ramon Del Castillo is a professor and Chair of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has several published poetry books published and his work has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art and Thought.

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