By Timothy Dailey-Valdés
From Fall 2017
Someone said Selena the other day but meant Selena Gomez and I wanted to teach the girl who said it about real música, back-in-the-day música. I didn’t know how without a whole afternoon. Someone said Selena the other day but meant the J-Lo flick. You can’t be penned in celluloid fronteras. You’re the only one we’d do anything for, Nuestra Señora Como La Flor. You taught me duende before I knew the word. I could listen to your canciones all day, chingona. You taught me what my childself could learn of Tejanidad, Latinidad, Chicanismo when no one else would. Que Dios te bendiga. I tried to dance like you when the girls on the playground would try to dance like you porque you were la Reina de Tejas Verdad and you knew so much I didn’t. You knew how to fall in love, knew the corozón’s botany, knew me in a way I didn’t know myself yet. You were my first patron saint. Santa Selena, show me the path to fearless. I was six years old when a lady who said she was your friend tried to kill you. I cried for a while como la Llorona but I’d forgotten that a person can’t kill what isn’t mortal, can’t touch an estrella. They told me you were gone, but you and I, hermana, sabemos.