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By Leticia Hernández-Linares

After Vanessa "AGANA" Espinoza’s mural "Madre Tierra de Mi Corazón" dedicated to the memory of Claudia Patricia Gómez-Gonzalez located at the Brava Theater on 24th Street in San Francisco, CA.

Tus pómulos, the historic shape of your
temporal bones imitating the pirámides we carry, beating
blueprints inside of our lungs, stencil the heart
with the angles of the architecture we were born in.

Caras lindas, living relics, contoured in variations of dark
dare us to peel the paint until we find the brown
del cerro, la cáscara stretching skin
into wing to prepare for the sojourn. Propelled by petals
& celestial sighs to unfamiliar places where we land, not free,
so much farther from the womb, closer to the anxious pen of

explorers, trapped on a canvas where they adorn us with thorns,
pin our mouths together, but our lips resist like a rose
shedding so as if to soar in
flight, carrying cuento spooled de un país a esta calle, a
fraying recuerdo of orígenes, of a venerable rebellious rose.


This golden shovel ends each line with a creative translation of  “Tu corazón de pétalos morenos, sin espinas: rosa en la rosa” from Roque Dalton’s Orígenes.  

Photograph of an outdoor mural titled

Photograph of an outdoor mural titled "Madre Tierra de Mi Corazón" by Vanessa "AGANA" Espinoza.



Listen as Leticia Hernández-Linares reads "Latido."

Added: Friday, October 2, 2020  /  Used with permission. Photograph and mural by Vanessa "AGANA" Espinoza:
Leticia Hernández-Linares
Photo by LexMex Art.

Leticia Hernández-Linares is a poet, educator, cultural worker, & interdisciplinary artist. She is the author of Mucha Muchacha, Too Much Girl, & co-editor of The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States. Widely published, some of her work appears in BreakBeat Poets Volume 4: LatiNext, Maestrapeace, San Francisco’s Monumental Feminist Mural, Other Musics: New Latina Poetry, This Bridge We Call Home, and Pank. A four-time San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grantee, she has presented her poemsongs throughout the country and in El Salvador. She has lived in the Mission District of San Francisco since 1995 & teaches in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. Learn more at her website

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