I was chiquita
cuando my parents died.
We must have been rico.
Yo me recuerdo servants
and a big house. I remember
a little brother.
I can’t remember su nombre.
There was a war going on or something.
Era just me and my sis, so we
gave him bread, that’s all there was,
pero el no tenía teeth.
And the pan era tan hard
he began to bleed. Pobrecito.
My sis and I fuimos con otros familiares.
A tío or somebody took us
to live in El Paso. See these teeth?
Sabes que, I can’t even remember
what my parents looked like.
And I haven’t been back to México since.
Ni sé what it looks like.
My father? Se llamaba Valentín.
I must have been fourteen
por hay when I hopped another train.
Los Ángeles was different then, you know?
That’s when my sis and I worked
at a sewing factory. Right there
off Broadway and,
como se llama? I forget.
Look at these fingers. Mira.
Oh, around then Doña Barbará
was on the big screen. We used to go.
We used to go. Your tía and I
would take a red car.
Las películas. That’s how
I learned to paint my lips red.
Watching those women.