Vine a Los Angeles
by Adolfo Guzman-Lopez
Illustrated by Scott Gandell

The eagle
perched on the cactus
called me to Los Angeles.

The Templo Mayor lays buried here.

In my city,
Mexico City,
jaguar heads of volcanic stone
became cornerstones for colonial palaces,
became podiums for politicians,
became baptism wells for el nuevo mexicano.

In my new city
adobe forts
became foundations
for post-war tract homes,
as far as the eye can see.
They sway
like Kansas wheat fields.

It’s here,
the Californio city
under the oil well city
under the Zoot Suit city
under the Dunbar city.

Orthodox shuls
under Brooklyn Avenue
sonidero speakers.

The Eastside minaret
blasts narcocorridos.
The Eastside minaret
blasts Cri Cri.
The Eastside minaret
Blasts na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na.

the river
over forearms graffiti-tattooed.

The frogs
sleep under the concrete.
The rows of grapevines
sleep under the concrete.
The boom-booms from
the Masque,
the Vex,
and the Moratorium
sleep under the concrete.

Use your hands,
dig deep.
Use your nose,
dig deep.
Use your mouth,
dig deep.
Use your heart,
dig deep.