Facilities at State Street Recreation Center in Boyle Heights. Photo by Antonio Mejías-Rentas
The Los Angeles River / Photo: Blake Gumprecht (The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth)


East of the Los Angeles River is all I ever knew of Eden.

Where maize mingles in mariachi dreams.

Aztlan murals stain the eyes of the working class.

where immigrant footprints proud and exhausted,

bleed the stories of our peoples past.

Boyle Heights is a culture on fire

a pair of shoes dangling from telephone wire,

dancing to salsa music in the sky.

a five star backyard restaurant

composing miracles into mole recipes

magic into Menudo on a Sunday morning .

Soothing the sounds of an all to familiar

hungers cry.

BoyleHeights is street corner rosaries for fallen flowers.

Candles burning faithful for hours.

Chalk line souls lying silent on the street

In the wake of pachuco whispers,

rising like sidewalk vapors,

Tortured by the summer heat.

Boyle Heights is a language of legacy.

A legend in our skin.

Carried by the children who lived it .

Glistening like lighting in the desert sand.

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