--for Juan Apodaca
killed July 19, 1984
i knew juan when we cruised 38th (boulevard) tank-topped
and bronzed on the aztec hunt.
i knew juan when he copped his first dime bag from the
jets and that first headache from the mala hierba.
i knew juan when we prayed to the stars wishing our
skyscrapers were earth-built temples and that our stone
and broken glass were grass laiden courts.
i knew juan when he turned on the hydros in front of
elitch's and our ride hopped and scraped like a comet in
front of our bronzed majas.
i knew juan when we were scoping the hood. "shit, what
the fuck you lookin' at? fuckin' honkey."
i knew juan when we and our parents marched on the
capital backing la raza.
i knew juan when the chotas shanked us and then threw us
in jive hall.
i even knew juan when he dropped out, got maria
pregnant, left for the marines, took up coke and was
sprayed in a varios unidos chicanos drive-by for 200
i knew juan as much as i could or thought, but with
carnales hearts step to the beat of dangerously
i knew juan before he was born and even after his blood
sopped drive-by; we are raza-hermanos
born of reckless music and chance.
Last update: 10 May 2000