Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 3 • Fall 2002 • Poetry

La 'Ruca Swings

Cris Hernandez

Mira, girlfriends --
check out the new 'ruca comin' in.
That girl ain't walkin' she got a
cha-cha-cha swing in her hips,
and her eyes, Vero, her eyes, esa be
electro-glide cruisin' this room --
Hey, does anybody know her name?

Shut up, Vero, don't be talkin' shit
about her game. Me parese que
ella sabe quien es -- You know,
high femme through and through;
check it out, how she holds her cigarro
in between those long india fingers
with the custom airbrushed little glitter hearts
on nails she can dig into my back
any time she wants to.

Shut up, bofa! Here, go get me a beer.
No, I don't want to ask her to dance --
Not yet, toda via no -- no es tiempo;
strategy man, you gotta be thinkin'
not trippin' when you ask a mujer like that --
it's gotta be the right beat,
you know, the right tune. . .
Something like "Suavecito,"
'Cause ella es muy suave --
tan suave como un shot de Cuervo;
you gotta hold her in your hands for a while,
be sure you're ready before you take her in
'cause you won't even know
when she gets in your blood,
'cause you won't even know
when she gets in your bones
until she's already got you.

Shut up, Vero, let me
borrow your comb
I need to slick back my hair
and gimme my
tu sabes como es,
no femme will say no
if you're dressin' just right
if your hair is just right,
if your walkin' can tell her
que tu sabes quien eres...

Ya mero, Veronica,
I'm gonna make that 'ruca mine.

Cris Hernandez is a queer, working-class, chicana, feminist -- raised, living, and writing in the Los Angeles area. She has taught in the History and Women's Studies departments at California State University, Long Beach. Earlier works have appeared in The Blue Mouse and Las Girlfriends, and she has hosted poetry venues at Huntley Bookstore in Claremont, California and Sacred Grounds in San Pedro, California. She's also been involved with Watershed, and Una Mujer Como Yo -- organizations that support artists and educational art programs in the Los Angeles area.

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