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Oscar Mireles

Prenatal massage on my wife’s protruding body

It is your
three month
anniversary
today

you
are no
bigger
that an anthill

Clara
my wife
makes me
rub her stomach
to remind me
that you
patiently wait
inside her pocket
and not only
in my mind

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Hey Soos

In a black and white
1960's television episode of
the western 'Rawhide'
was hidden
a small scene

in which a
young Mexican cowboy
from Austin, Texas
named Jesus

and a saddleboy
from Chihuahua, Mexico
named Juan
who was rescued
from the Camancheros Indians
when he was seven years old

and both Juan and Jesus
are standing together

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I'm gonna take the South out of South Africa

I'm gonna take the South out of South Africa
the home of the slaves
and the land of no freedom

I'm gonna take the south out of South Africa
where George Wallace stood
on the University steps
and said no blacks
no blacks shall enter here
except over my dead
and crippled body

I'm gonna take the South out of South Africa
where separate but equal means
that blacks lived in the homelands
and not in their homes

I'm gonna take the South out of South Africa
where Jim Crow laws
have tried to change their colors

[...] Read more

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Love Mexican Style' is not a reality television show

Mexico City is far more romantic
then I imagined

Not that I ever think
of any city as being romantic
but there are more people
walking hand-in-hand

or embracing
in front of the bus stop
in the mid-afternoon sun

four cross hugging arms
propped next to skinny tress
to provide
a little privacy

In the open air
they were stealing kisses before
the next bus arrives

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When I was asked what my favorite body part was?

When I was asked what my favorite body part is?

It was not the kind of question
I get asked every day

When I mentioned
this question to my friends
they all thought for a second
and laughed…

so I thought I would
ask those close to me what they thought

someone said the soft tissue
on my hand between my thumb
and second finger
it has no known use
but it is a soft place to hide feelings
and provides a hook to hold on too…

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Will grandma Mickey’s hair still be white, when we are in heaven?

My youngest son asked me this as we were
laying around arguing whether I was going to read more than one book or not…

will grandma Mickey’s hair still be white, when we are in heaven?
why do six year olds think about life and death?
why do they not seem afraid
and see it as a natural part of living life

we fear death,
we avoid hospitals, when friends are ill
and when we do go there it is quick to help speed the recovery
of the ill and get out as quick as you can

when people are ill we don’t see them as much,
they understand no one wants to be around seriously ill people
and don’t invite themselves to events they know
will cause others grief

will grandma Mickey’s hair still be white, when we are in heaven?
shows an understanding that she will be in a form that we will recognize

[...] Read more

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My birthday was different this year

As I was rummaging through
the file boxes my wife had left for me
in the garage
I found a yellow legal pad
scribbled with hand written poems
I had written one night
in a almost crowded coffeehouse
waiting for a poet friend from Chicago
to come up north to read

The poems talked about
how I waited and waited
before too long
several anxious poets
ran up to the microphone
not afraid to trip over themselves
share their delicate poems
about romance and almost romance
detailing having a job they don't like
and it seemed to me

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Courage is setting yourself free

As she maneuvered
her entourage
of a motorized wheelchair
trained assistance dog
and personal assistant
into the Olympic size swimming pool
at the health club

I thought that it was
a nice idea
to come and sit
at the edge of the pool
and that it would probably
be therapeutic
or at least a refreshing
change of place
for someone in a wheelchair

but she scooted her vehicle
into front of the first swim lane

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My first taste of the importance of a college education

I remember going
to my first Chicano Higher Education Conference
in January of 1969
in a barren place of
University of Whitewater, Wisconsin

my brother Juan drove a white university station wagon
to his hometown Racine
that Friday night
to pick me and my other brother up

I had never been to a college campus before
but from stories I had heard
college was a cross between
Disneyland and
a crowded New York subway on Times Square on New Years Eve

all I can recall from the two hour ride
was a flashing red light
at the intersection of Highways 20 & 83

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