is a special “little corner” in Somos en escrito for short writings: a single poem, a short story, a memoir, flash fiction, and the like.
Dial M for Machismo
by Marisol Lozano
Men, Mensos, Machos, Mamones.
Los hombres tell me my shorts are too short, I’ll make the older men think bad thoughts.
Los hombres tell me to cook, clean, be a woman.
Can’t you see, estupida? The machistas mow the grass you lay your head on while you think.
Los hombres are turning me into a consumable chick, breed as many kids as you can, in the baby mill inside your body.
You fucking dog.
Starve your kids, starve your hombre, bury them and roast them like winning hogs.
Salivate thinking about the man who has been roasting underground with potatoes, onions, chilies. Think about the sweet basting sauce that was carefully poured over his thick light skin. Basting liquid that was slowly and carefully massaged on his body making sure it made its way down the scores on his body.
Think, think, think.
Think about the rub recipe that’s been in your matriarch’s lineage before your hombre was even a thing. Let your mouth water as you think about crisping his skin on the grill
over coal. Watching carefully making the skin glassy and crispy for a midnight snack.
Los hombres no son Buenos hombres.
Los Machos stand by the wall, one foot planted on the ground one touching the wall.
Los machos say ‘en mi casa yo mando’ Code for, ‘My women. Eat my shit.’
Los hombres y los machos van a ver.
Los hombres y los machos are allowed to get angry.
They grab you like a doll and throw you to the wall.
Los machos named, Mario, Mariano, Marco, wrap their thick big hands around your neck and refuse to let you breathe.
Los machos suffocate you. Finish you off on the floor kicking and dragging you around your home.
Clumps of hair scattered on the floor, scratch marks on the floor trying to save yourself, broken nails, ruined face.
Grab a fistful of el macho’s hair and bring his skull to your direct vision. Slowly bring a dull knife to where his forehead and hairline meet, scrape the knife against the soft sweaty skin, and stab. Slowly, insert the dull blade into the skin making sure to hit the right spots that make him squirm.
Remind el macho why you’re doing this, he needs to learn.
Go around his head forcing the blade on him making him wince, feel the same pain you do. Hum a soft tune while you dig deep into his tissue scraping, digging giggling. Pull his scalp and listen to slurping and pulling of his tissue.
Listen to the cries of the demon, relish in his pain. He deserves this, he needs to learn and become broken. Do it for the failed women, who were fooled by these men.
Los hombres, los machos, y los mamones do as they please,
And we’re supposed to be okay with it.
Marisol Lozano is a BA English student with a concentration in Literature and a minor in Film Studies at UTRGV. A Chicana from the Fronteras trying to seam her Mexican and American identities together. A daughter of a Mexican man who was never swayed by the American dream and a proud Tejana. She loves her parents, sisters, dog, and grandparents.
Tres Millas a mi Libertad
Follow along as Rebecca Granado performs "Tres Millas a mi Libertad"
I could taste freedom from my bedroom window. Where the silhouette of that town was visible. Nothing but dry, barren land came between me, and that town. It was a three mile walk of anticipation, and well worth it back in the day. Blazing that trail, the sun beating down on my shoulders, the hot tar road under my feet. Vultures circling in the sky, helicopters calculating their radius. These were the sights when I walked that stretch of road.
The migra would pass me on that road at top speed in their hummers as they were led to the scene by an anonymous tip. Up ahead I could see a roadblock in the making, marked by orange cones and bright reflectors to warn all traffic that suspicion lay ahead. My route would detour on the halfway point, before the port, before customs, before the suspicion marked by the men in green. The halfway point was the Go For It Café. a.k.a. Old man Bobbos.
What better place to taunt the men in green. They would watch us with their binoculars partying at the café. In the distance on a hill next to a mansion is where they would retreat. How did we know they were watching? We had binoculars, too. Suspicion was all around. We would shout gritos to the migra while we danced, sang, and drank our 40’s to Chalino. What were they gonna do? Nothing. We are American citizens in our every right. These men in green had arrested our antepasados at one point. Maybe it was a long time ago, but we carried that desesperación.
La neta éramos sinvergüenzas en esos tiempos. I mean we would walk 3 miles carrying a box of empty Negra Modelo bottles for refills. We were thirsty. Not only for la crema de la cerveza pero también por la libertad, que nos esperaba en el otro lado. Sabíamos que algo nos esperaba. Cruzamos día tras día, buscando esa libertad. Queríamos escapar! Get away from the rigidity of the red, white, and blue. Al cruzar, presencia militar, cuernos de chivo, chalanes acompañando los jefes. I'm home, I would think to myself. Tranquilidad, protección, ánimo. Where else but home would we cruise in bulletproof trucks, being chased by army tanks, shot at con unos r-15’s.
Yo quería ser la novia de un Mafioso. Yo quería ser adornada con joyas y viajar a lugares exóticos. Llegar a mi destino, pero en un jet privado. Disfrutamos de la comida más rica, usábamos ropa de la tela más fina, escapábamos a las playas más bonitas del mundo. Las mexicanas no nos querían a las chicanas. Ellas veían que cruzábamos dia tras dia. They longed for our life on the other side and we wanted their freedom, on their side. We had it both ways, and they couldn’t, and they hated us for it.
La vida aparece como fantasma y la muerte desaparece al cerrar los ojos. Learning to run, duck and dodge, jumping out of moving vehicles, this was the life, this was the freedom we sought. Cada vez que cruzábamos y regresamos vivos, nos daba mas valor seguir cruzando. Cruzaba la garita a todas horas, en todas condiciones, faltandoles respeto a los aduanales. Me valia madre. When you escape bullets, death, rape, and secuestros no one can touch you, it changes a person. Yo no pensaba lo que a mi me daba valor, le quitaba honor a otra persona.
My intuition guided me all along that road to freedom. It whispered in my ear as I chugged, as I exhaled the smoke from my toke, as my paranoia grew. Constantly having to watch over my shoulder, trusting no one, especially not myself. Now a hundred miles and twelve feet of steel fence obscure my view of that silhouette. I can no longer thirst for that road. The bottles remain empty. Binoculars with no one in sight.
Rebecca Granado, born and raised in Columbus, New Mexico, dropped out of high school and traveled the country by bus, living in tents along the way. “An undeclared social researcher,” as she called herself, she resumed schoolwork and earned a Master of Science in Family and Child Science and Addiction Studies from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. This story in Somos en escrito is her first publication. Rebecca is working on a first novel.
Excerpts from The Canción Cannibal Cabaret, a performance work