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Las Chácharas they Carried



Las Chácharas they Carried

“¿Señora, qué declara?”

  • Discount shaving cream.
  • Tortillas wrapped in black plastic bags.
  • The telephone number of USCIS.
  • Vaporub, which in Spanish

translates to “comprehensive
health care.”

  • My child’s nosebleed.

“What’s the intention of your visit?”

  • My son who stirs awake, as the Nyquil’s

starting to wear off.

  • Father’s sombrero that she promised
    to never take off the wall.

“If I search your vehicle, will I find anything?”

  • Soap camouflaged
    as sea salt.
  • La madrugada
    whose bordertown haze

stains Mother’s dress.

  • An analog TV set
    to plop my chubby brown hijo
    in front of Sesame Street

“Ma’m, please step outside.”

Born and raised in the East Palo Alto, CA Antonio López received his B.A. in Global Cultural Studies and African & African-American studies from Duke University. He’s received scholarships to attend the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, the Home School, Tin House Summer Workshop, the Key West Literary Seminar, and the Vermont Studio Center. He is a proud member of the Macondo Writers Workshop, a CantoMundo Fellow, and a 2019 Adroit Summer Mentor. His nonfiction has been featured or is forthcoming in PEN/America, The Latino Book Review, and Insider Higher Education, and his poetry in BOAAT, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Adroit Journal, Puerto del Sol, Huizache, Tin House and elsewhere. He was runner up for the inaugural Palette Poetry Spotlight Award of 2019 and the recipient of the 2019 Katherine Bakeless Nelson Award in Poetry for the 2019 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He received his Masters in Fine Arts (poetry) at Rutgers-Newark. As a 2018 Marshall Scholar, he is currently pursuing a Masters in Philosophy in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford, where he is also poetry editor of the Oxford Review of Books. His debut collection, Gentefication, won the 2019 Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry, and is set to be published fall of 2021.