Alfredo Aguilar


Alfredo Aguilar is a Mexican-American poet living in North County San Diego. He is the co-director of Glassless Minds, a bi-weekly open mic in Oceanside Ca. 

ode to ritchie valens

            at seventeen your voice poured out of radios across

the nation. a song from another time, another country,

            in a language that brown school children were forbidden to speak

when it was the only thing they could use to remember.

            you were so much like us, relearning the language our mothers

used to lullaby us to sleep. a salve for any wound.

            a language where all of the songs sounded like weeping.        

had the corners of your name rounded off for the ease

            of some other mouth. you rode through snow in iowa

& the cold found a way in under the thin metal skin of the bus.

            your cough caught on the window. eight months after

the country knew your name you fell out of the sky & into

            a cornfield. the morning after, the house you bought your mother

in los angeles was covered in snow. the radio stations played

            your songs but all that came out of the speakers

was the sound of wind cutting through cornstalks. in a room your record

            spun & your young voice rose from a distant place

well, come on, let's go, let's go, little darlin’ tell me that you'll never leave me.

ode to selena in two erasures


i. selena translated after the bullets

I know that you have

a new love


I wish you the best

If you didn't find

happiness in me

Maybe someone else

will give it to you

Like the flower (like the flower)

With so much love (with so much love)

That you gave me

It withered faded away

I leave today

I know how to lose

But, ay...

How it hurts me


How it hurts me

If you could see how much it hurts

to lose your love

With you goodbye, you take

my heart (with you)

I don't know if I can

Love again

Because I gave you all the love

That I could give

Like the flower ..


ii. prayer written on the door where selena was shot


Who calls this child to walk on her own?

Who leads her down this treacherous road?

She's dancing to a song we can't hear

Caminando en calle doce (12)

Debes estar en la escuela

Dulce angelita, de quien eres tu?

Come dance with me (ven, baila conmigo)

Come dance with me (ven, baila conmigo

Come dance with me

God make s us dream, but won't set us free

God calls us dance to songs we can't hear

Cancion del vampiro

Gloria de amor

Es nuestro reino

Pero vean lo que hemos hecho

Come dance with me (ven, baila conmigo)

Come and dance with me (quiero ser libre)

Come dance with me (ven, baila conmigo)

Como tu, como tu solo puedas bailar...

oye, mira, baila conmigo

No me dejes sola

Ven, ven, ven

No me dejes sola

Ooh, come on down

Ooh, ooh, ahh, ahh

Ah, set me free (quiero ser libre ) ha!

Come dance with me (ven, baila conmigo)

Ooh, ahh, with me

© The Acentos Review 2016