NACLA poetry series from CantoMundo's event "Ferguson/Ayotzinapa: CantoMundo Poets Read and Respond."

December 25, 2014

Peggy Robles-Alvarado

On December 15, New York's Loisaida Center hosted a poetry reading in which current and former fellows of the national Latina/o poets workshop CantoMundo read from their work in solidarity with ongoing protests and mobilizations in and around Ferguson, Missouri, and the College of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Mexico. NACLA is publishing a series from the event.


María De Los Ángeles Pineda is dreaming of teeth

half- jaws snapping at her big toe                   pulling the covers

forcing her to feel the cool mountain wind

she has always preferred her city of asphalt              over houses build in mud

thousands of bits of enamel taunting from the kitchen table

chattering in her soup                                     rage boiling over

gripping the noodles                           perfectly forming a floating number 43

the broth                     bitter


María De Los Ángeles Pineda is finding teeth in her make up

pastel yellow blue and pink                            slowly turning brown

like the skin of the young men she never wanted to date in high school

red like                                                the sidewalks on September 26th when

the rebellious received last rites from a rainstorm

molars hiding in her shoes                               hopping into handbags

incisors teaming up                             dragging 43 blood soaked book bags into her living room

the bags                       still warm


María De Los Ángeles Pineda is reading a dream interpretation book

Teeth: imperishable, able to survive narco- inspired Iguala police bullets,


                                                                        of an otherwise unrecognizable body




Teeth: indestructible messengers of the dead, resist effects

                                    of gasoline-driven fires and

            Cocula mountain landfill decomposition,

                                    hold treasures of information, make for

                                                                                    the best tattle- tales


Teeth: dirt and ash covered immortal remains of

43 Ayotzinapa Normalistas

doing exactly what they were taught to do

teach dissidence                      call Justicia

                                                            shift Guerrero into the hands of El Pueblo

obreros            gritando

¡Ya                  me                  cansé!

Teeth: oracles,

telling their story for years to come

Peggy Robles-Alvarado is a tenured New York City educator, a 2014 BRIO award winner and CantoMundo Fellow. She is a two time International Latino Book Award winner and author of Conversations With My Skin and Homenaje A Las Guerreras / Homage to the Warrior Women. Peggy has been featured on HBO Habla Women, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 2014 Voto Latino Power Summit, Poets and Writers Fifth Annual Connecting Cultures Reading, The BADD!ASS Women Festival, and other venues. She has been published in Letras, by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, The Bronx Memoir Project, Luna Luna Magazine, Upliftt.com, Dealmas.net, and Sofrito For Your Soul. For more information please visit Robleswrites.com.

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