Para Trinidad Sanchez, Chingón Chicano Poet. Author of Why Am I So Brown? and Jalapeño Blues, among others
Why am I so brown? Why am I so blue? The day you left for that great gig in the sky, Las lenguas de las campanas de Guadalupe, cantaron “Estas son las mañanitas…”, a comet set all South Texas aglow, tlacuaches dropped to their knees, cuervos bowed their heads, los muertos broke out the George W. piñatas and good tequila, giving gracias to the chingón Chicano poet, who kicked ass, with the red gummy bear heart con su alma de arroz y frijoles, who never forgot who he was even in the face of the onion breath people.
Why am I so brown? Why am I so blue? The day you left for that open mike in the sky, “La cucaracha, la cucaracha” ya no quiso bailar, las hormigas got drunk and rowdy and marched up Cesar Chavez Avenue, shaking their fists, shouting, “Stop the madness, Stop the madness,” and Eva Longoria went desperately to confession. With strands of comet’s tail and beads de las estrellas, nopales prayed the rosary, for the poet with the tears in his voice like the wail in Santana’s guitarra y el ritmo de sus palabras como las tambores de Tito Puente.
Why am I so brown? Why am I so blue? The day you left for that great gig to the right hand of the Father, the earth got a little lighter and my heart a lot bluer.
Poet and writer Jesse Herrera lives in Laredo.