by Jacinto Jesus Cardona

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Poet Jacinto Jesus Cardona reads Amapolasong. Image by Jacinto Guevara.



For my brother Raúl, 1945-1994

Dear amapolas, you don’t remember me,
but I first felt your pink presence
when I was a child deep in the Hub of South Texas.
Mother took my brother Raúl and me and my cousin Corina
for an Easter Sunday en el campo.
No fancy city park for us,
nomás los mesquites y los huisaches,
el solecito dancing off the colorful
cellophane wrappings on our Easter baskets,
y mi prima llena de risa en la primavera.

Amapolas, amapolas, your pink presence blooms
in places that seldom receive attention,
abandoned houses, vacant lots, cracked sidewalks,
and you love to bloom by telephone poles.
But what I remember best are your seeds memorizing
the same skimpy spot in front of my hometown house.

Amapolas, amapolas,
say it slowly, a-ma-po-las,
accent on the penultimate syllable,
savor the penultimate síliba-po,
a puff of primavera breath.

Amapolas, I always wanted to write
amapolas solas en el sol
amapolas alegres,
amapolas growing por la Calle Zarzamora.

amapolas de mis abriles,
I used to be a Tex-Mex juvenile pursuing
the four-lobe power of the pink primrose path
deep in Aztlantejas USA.
Gracias, mil gracias,
for the plethora of pink amapolas.

Amapolas, amapolas,
recuerdo La Villita y la raza cósmica
dancing polkas, spinning into oblivion
the alkaline kiss of polvo-deep anxieties.

With our dancing shoes criss-crossing
the cosmic spaces of Westside dance halls,
éramos puros corazones como las amapolas solas
color de rosa, gozando, gozando,
bailando, bailando, gozando, gozando.

Dear Amapolas, blow your pink pagan breath upon my grave,
like a midnight kiss upon that old mystic mezquite,
and may my bones rest in peace
like whispered kisses of past amapolasongs.


released January 14, 2016




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