"SHE WAS MY HERO..."
She was my hero and she knew it, hung on to me that way.
Had a resilience that was moss-like;
only showed what was going on inside
by sometimes flashing red, like an octopus color change.
She’d spent a summer paper-making,
and something else, never fully described...
some mischief in the woods that had left her exposed:
a kiss in the dark, a kind of duel, she remained tongue-tied.
She liked unusual stories: like the man who slipped and fell,
and when he resumed his faculties, he spoke the simplest Greek.
Or the way, when we met, I described surfers, saying,
“We live in the water. We don’t live on land.”
She quoted that for weeks.
She blushed when reminded that she belonged to a group
of upwardly mobile white children. Ones that could handle a horse.
The brown children seemed more well-developed in spite of this,
and Juanita was happy to play in the wind kite-less.
Our town was a Chicano city.
Our streets were the side streets with names like Romaine and Waring.
It was a place that needed dreams or it went out of focus.
There are lights in this city that never get noticed.
"SHE LIVED BY A LAKE..."
She lived by a lake and was drenched in wondering,
by the sage that seemed mixed and tangled in her eyes.
I suggested we go see boxy architecture,
but floating along we wound up on a cliff side.
The domed buildings were softer here, molded by caress.
I threw silver beads of childish intention
at dull horizons, thinking, “Damn!”... but she said, "Good, good!"
With the sentimentality of a surrealist, I began to redden.
We left the car in the flowers, in a Saturnalia of butterflies,
and lying in the unbroken beds, we enjoyed
whiling away the time in a Casbah of non-action—
a dream socket to a day of blue celluloid.
PABLO CAPRA is a poet and publisher of Brass Tacks Press.