before Momma left Mexico

            planted bits of herself
in the ground to sell across la colonia,
wondering why her father
loved the distilled bloom of mezcal
more than his liver and children.

plucked bouquets of flowers

from bleeding earth

with a residual sliver

of Grandma Juana's

uterus still in her nails

danced the best corn dance

in the pueblo of Mochitlán

to honor La Santa Ana,

her fertile beauty

galloping the streets, aggravating

male eyes into a groping parade.

collected empty

and half-filled bottles
from tourists to redeem
for pesos -- the prettiest maid
    in a hotel room
           that would never be hers.

my nineteen-year-old papa saved
her from the ninth floor of La Palapa
with a forged paycheck to show
he was worthy.

enamored, she waved

goodbye to the streets of Acapulco,
never again to witness such romance.

letters to Acapulco, my Mother's home



your bay

and show me how

sand and sleep




your cliff divers

why they plunge

up into tear ducts,

with an unleveled heart

as their Quebrada.



to the decades’

labor to live,

glittered and dull.



your Nahautl name

in my bones – tiny,

like on a grain of rice.



you have always been

that souvenir inside me.

Bio:  Mae Ramirez

Mae Ramirez is a pocha-poet from Montebello, CA who spent much of her adolescence playing bass guitar in the backyards of East L.A.'s early 2000s punk/ska scene. She now holds an MFA in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach where she was a member of the slam poetry team and taught an introductory seminar in writing poetry. She has led numerous Spoken Word and Zine-making workshops at high schools and co-found ¡DUENDE! Long Beach, a grassroots community arts organization that provides creative programming and mentoring for youth. More of her work can be found at ramirezmae.tumblr.com.

MAY 2013

Alvarado Valdivia         Arias        Cerda        Chatelain        Desimone        Ferro    gomez        Hernandez Diaz        Huizar        Ibarra        Martinez Serrano        Molina        Muñoz        Najarro        Olivarez        Ponce-Melendez        Ramirez        Reyna        Rosales        Salazar        Villagarcia        Zablah