for National Poetry Month 2016


a response to the US saying, count sheep when you can’t sleep

By Anel Flores

it’s late

I don’t know

where you got the idea

you were invited to this party


you tangled us up

in your shadowy breath

the smell of hot beer

you talked into my ear

your red eyes

your smile sly

as you look out to the side

like you looked at her

when you took her home

drunker than you were

you said

to the table of butches

they didn’t laugh as deep as you

they didn’t laugh at all

but you slapped her on the shoulder

expected us to cheer you on

the gall

come on dude

you said

who the fuck are you

you’re talking to the wrong man

I thought

my skin crawled

you laughed loud enough for everyone

she didn’t laugh at all

my chest fluffed

my neck got hot

I pushed down on my feet

to stand up


everything came back

the smell that came from his open pants

the sweat

the shadow my body kneeled in

the way my head screamed sin

when he told me to open up

“o vas a quedar aquí, en mexico conmigo.”

in the desert I’m in

my soul folded

then broke

accepted him

in my mouth

imagined my lips

thorned like mami’s rosas

and cut in him

imagined drinking a coca cola

next to a christmas tree

a woman in a business suit

smoking a thin

and a blond


since I never had one

to begin

I thought

and thought

of nice things

of dreams

where there is water to drink

books to read

all I could do was believe

Until you slapped my back

and it all came back

in a different package

the smell

that nasty fucking smell

my throat gagging

my tongue growing into a knife

my feet on fire

my chest blowing up

soul unfolding

and I laughed in your face

and spit

this isn’t a tiny bit of what it feels like to be treated like shit

I said

now pick up your pants

before I cut off your fucking dick

your story makes us sick

we don’t give a shit

now tell me

where is this one

woman you tell of

from your drunken nights

we have a show for her delight

for some it may be fright

hold on tight

close your mouth

damn your breath

get down

I’m gonna turn out the light




sleep tight

good night




This City is a Poem. April 23, 2016. (

Mi Amor: On Our 1 Month Wedding Anniversary


I did not grow or grind the frijoles y tortillitas de maiz that built your strong bones, impenetrable panza and brown eyes lifetimes old:
only the water, the truth of letting pain wash away with the rain,
the coffee that tells secrets black and old,
the burning wood scent of your Mexican border once upon a time home.

From Piedras Negras where you first jumped in the river
to the refreshing waters of Yanaguana where you swam to me,
you are a sweet sour tough mesquite bean pod fallen from my abuela’s tree:
biting down, wooden limbs and feather soft green leaves dart out from my mouth and the wind blows in again.

Woman from Mexico, it’s not your fault you didn’t know
how two lifetimes ago I was a river and you were a hundred year old tree.
But the earth became too warm and I dwindled into a small stream, remembering your legs – and I drifted on

and on through another lifetime where I spotted you again passing by,
until I expired one last time, Mi Amor: I am a life for the third time
alive for the first, a raging ocean between my thighs and a moon reflection in my eyes.

By Anel I. Flores
For Erika A Casasola, my wife
inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Soneto V: Mañana

© Anel I. Flores 2015, All Rights Reserved

Isla Mujeres
Photo Credit © Jorge Sandoval 2015, All Rights Reserved

5 Revelations of the Chicana Lesbiana Mami


This gallery contains 6 photos.

dedicated to   1.When you’re raising two young Chicana teenage girls to be independent, creative, artistic, well rounded, and fashion forward people- BE AWARE THAT YOU WILL NEVER HAVE MATCHING SOCKS!   2. When you’re raising two young Chicana teenage … Continue reading

A Girl Who Wants To Shake Up the World


This gallery contains 2 photos.

On a random Saturday, I found her standing tall on top of our brittle picnic table in the back yard casting  an imaginary fishing rod into our ocean of yellowed crunchy grass. After a few trips to the beach, Baby K … Continue reading

La Nueva York Quinceañera: the Story

When I signed up to teach in San Antonio’s primarily Chicano, inner-city high schools, I didn’t know that part of my teaching responsibilities would involve sponsoring my students’ Quinceñearas every month! Being a sponsor, or Madrina, at their Sweet 15 celebration meant that my name would be included on the opalescent, faux-wedding invitation as long as I financially sponsored some part of the Sweet 15 fiesta. Among the list of things I had to choose from, I learned that being the Madrina de los Zapatos was going to be the most my modest teacher salary could offer. Buying the debutant a pair of $20 Payless pumps, which promised to never see the light of day under the fifteen year-old girl’s oversized faux-wedding dress was my gift to each student who begged me to be their Madrina.

In Adriana Lopez’s anthology, Fifteen Candles, she says , “It doesn’t matter whether you were the only Latino family in town or if your neighborhood grocery had a fully stocked Goya food section, if you lived in the States, a quinceañera party affirmed your Latinoness.”

When I signed up to be an Amma (the maternal title our daughters use for me) one of our girls was freshly 14 and ready for a Quinceñera of her own. Big J stocked her bookshelf with Quinceañeara magazines, a full color scheme of what her 14 Damas (girls) and 14Chambelanes (boys) would wear in the royal court, and even had downloaded on her ipod the Salsa-Merengue-Cumbia-Hip Hop-Reggaeton Melody she planned to dance to. Baby K, who had five years to plan, was also learning what was to come for her Sweet 15. Our weekends were filled with visiting the Pulga (Mexican Flea-Market) in search for the perfect color of yellow taffeta Dama Dresses and Chambelan bow-ties, vests and cumber-buns. Also, we rummaged through various puestos where Mexican vendors sold varieties of home-made pastel-colored centerpieces mounted on mirrors, made of lace, glitter, plastic flowers glistening with acrylic water droplets on their petals, and obnoxiously sequined tiaras. Not only were we looking at purchasing Big J’s Payless pumps but Erika and I were about to embark on planning what started to feel like a mini-wedding! Our opinions of the Quinceañera started to evolve into something else as our wallets began to look smaller and and so did our budgets for the upcoming year. “Quincelandia” might not be all it was cracked up to be. (Adriana Lopez).

One evening, I told Big J that according to tradition, “the Quince rite of passage means you will be ready for motherhood!”  The look on her face was priceless as her beautiful brown eyes almost popped out her her head.  Her opinion of the traditionalQuinceañera quickly changed. In as far as her eyes could see, her future was a college dorm room and vacations around the world. Big J was not ready to be a mother and I was barely just becoming one after 30! Our non-traditional Lesbian home would soon be creating a new Quince tradition.


After a few family platicas, Erika, Big J, Baby K and I decided that La Quinceañera would trade her over-puffed dress and pastel pumps for a visit to New York City and most importantly the New York Public Library, which I told her had one of the largest book collections in the whole world. Big J reads almost two novels a week and loves all things antique and old. The quiet and dimly lit elegance of the NYPL would replace the elegance she once felt would be present at her “traditional” Quinceañera.

It is true that as a Lesbiana Amma and Mamì, we are creating our own family traditions and rites of passages. Instead of getting pregnant with a baby at 15, I can definitely say that Big J became impregnated with a larger view of the world and its opportunities available to her. Not only did we go to the breathtaking shelves of the NYPL, we ate cheesecake each night in Little Italy, visited several bookstores, NYU, CUNY, the Museum of Modern Art , and went ice skating in Central Park, but we did it all for as little as the price of renting out a dance hall on the Southside of San Anto!

On our last evening in New York City, Big J walked about 30 paces ahead of us down the escalator into the Metro station.  I saw in her step a heavier stance, in her shoulders a higher posture, and in her movement a beautiful grace. WIthout our guidance, she confidently boarded the train and for a moment I imagined her walking down the church isle in the huge white dress she had her eye on when she was still planning the Quinceañera party.  The little mirage quickly dissolved and there she was again, a young woman in her trendy skinny jeans and converse walking down the isle of the world. We are happy with our new Quinceañera traditions and our lovely daughter.

Little K is planning her Quinceañera trip for 2014! Vacation!