Kirk Alvaro Lua


Kirk Alvaro Lua’s work has appeared in The Acentos Review, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, Pilgrimage Magazine, and Toyon Literary Magazine. He is from Madera, the Heart of California. He attended Humboldt State University where he earned a BA in English and a Spanish minor. He now attends Fresno State’s MFA Program for Poetry. His first teachers of poetry were his parents. His mother taught him how to write and his father taught him how to say fuck it. He has a cat, and her name is Zucchini. 



1. Gold Teeth


In México at a bar

my grandpa and my Tío Paco

drain caguamas.

Their heads lean back

like pelicans swallowing

fish. They bring down

their bottles to guns

pressed into their guts.

My Tío Paco says


as he and my grandpa

follow their instructions

and remove their gold rings.

One of them asks my grandpa

¿Por qué tan callado amigo?

My tío answers

Es mudo.

His silence stays even after

my tío orders a tequila

kills it and asks

¿Por qué no dijiste nada?


Por mis dientes de oro.


2. Tía Maga


México es tan corriente.

Que hasta el sonido del dinero

es corriente.

Las monedas Americanas

suenan bonitas

cuando caen al suelo.

El peso suena como

un tepalcate de barro.



3. Maldito Billete


No store in Mexicali will take

a bill that my Tía Virginia has

because it is worn and torn. She asks

Bueno ¿Qué se supone que puedo

hacer con el billete?


She pulls into a gas station

and pumps. When finished

she goes to the attendent

and hands him the cursed bill.

Señora no puedo aceptar esto.



with a grin

entonces saca el gas.


4. Remate en Ensenada


¿Te gustan los discos? Me pregunto el vendedor.




Bueno. El año pasado

vine aquí y estaba mirando 

a través de un montón de discos

y encontré dos discos de Barry Manilow.


Recordé haber escuchado algo sobre él

en las noticias que había muerto.

Así que compré ambos por diez pesos.

Cuando llegué a mi casa le dije

a mi hijo que descubriera el valor.


Me dijo

Papá, los discos de Manilow no valen nada.

Barry Manilow no murió.

Salió del clóset.


Todavía tengo los discos.





María Dolores vs García Lorca



I push my abuelita in a wheelchair

down the aisles en la segunda.

I’m not brave enough to call it


her wheelchair.


I find a notebook for $1

flip through it

hope for vacancy.


A couple of pages

written on by a woman. Her pencil

left teeth marks on the page.


Catholic prayers

and she confesses

being choked


by her boyfriend

in front of her kids.

I rip them out


put them in my pocket

and put it back on the shelf.

My abuelita


looks in a photo album

full of a woman’s life.

She looks at them as if she were in them.


She looks up at me

finds me guilty

for something I’d never do.


She closes the album and says

she is ready without words.

She is tired.



We exit and her eyes look up

her head down. She points to el cielo

and says


La luna parece una tortilla de harina.



She points again

to a field of grapevines

as I buckle her in.

Parece una sábana blanca 

extendida a través de mi cama

en la luz de la luna.

My abuelita is better than García Lorca 

and doesn’t even know it

or who he was.

© The Acentos Review 2019