Poem: Parading

for Mireyda

You asked me about my writing
the first time I met you. It was the third week
at my new job in our writing program.
We talked about Xicanismo and we
talked about our parents and tíos and tías
and we talked about coming to
identity. I told you I wasn’t writing
literary essays right now, maybe
I never would again. You said to me,
simply, that if I hit a productive period
I would be welcome anytime to share
my work with you and the other
Chicanx kids. Your offer meant more to me—
a White-passing Chicano with a White father’s
surname and a Mexican mother who learned
to forget her Spanish before I was born— than I
can ever express. I feel so grateful
to have known, even for a short time,
such a generous and warm person as you.
Rest in power, my friend, Xicana seester.
I will see you parading down Blackstone
Avenue and I will talk back yeah
with hand claps, yeah hand claps for you.

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