Las Tres Tumbas



Mayra Cortes



El Empiezo




My roots are firmly planted in Jalisco, the land that Nuño Beltran de Guzman conquered.

My parents cultivated the land we had and tended the animals. One would be sheltered from the sun by the trees when going through La Arboleda to get tortillas. And for entertainment, we often grabbed the gold, green beatles and make a kite out of the creature.


The sapphire sky tinted with the light of the stars know me.

The Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan knows me. The bus driver knows me, as do the people from the block. I belong there. I belong to the sights, smells, and activities specifically to my home in Jalisco.


I was driven out of my homeland in Jalisco when I had to make my way across the light, fallow colored desert because the conditions we lived in was no longer deemed as comfortable, enough or acceptable for my father.

Quería lo mejor que le pudiera dar a sus hij@s and that for him was the U.S. It was as if i I was to become the water after a drought that sparked hope in the people for a better harvest. At least, in my family.



As a result, I am caged. Caged in this “majestic” skyscraper, concrete jungle.

The sapphire night is now lit by office and home lights. We have no land to call our own here. We have not owned any land. My heart aches for the land that belonged to us. I do not belong here.



How long until I can return?

The land back home no longer belongs to us/me. The only thing that belongs to me from that land is its history and my memories there.


Otra Vez de Nuevo



Birds have built their nest,

resting, folding their wings they settle down.

Grass covered in white daisies,

the butterflies hover overhead.

Lilacs tossed by the slight breeze,

the bees cling on.

Cold mornings are gradually burned away by warm afternoons.

So gather bundles of flowers,

for it is never too late for delight.

Lengthen your days,

your days in the month of May.

For spring is time of renewal,

and likelihood.


Mexican Spitfire




I walk in and out the aisles of the antique shop located downtown and searching for their section on old films. “Excuse me”, I ask. “Where can I find the section of old Hollywood movies?” The cashier points me to the section where they were located at. Lo tengo que encontrar, necesito que encontrarlo me digo a mi misma. Pase mis dedos sobre las cajasa de peliculas, sobre nombres como Dolores del Río, Jean Harlow, Elsa Aguirre y más, hasta que ¡por fin, lo encontré! I pulled back the mustard yellow box that read Mexican Spitfire. My eyes lit up when I read the name in blue and red letters: Lupe Vélez.


I went back home, anxious to watch the pelicula. My mother walks in with Lupe holding a black phone on her left ear, con un collar enorme diciendo con un accento, “So you want me to get out of his life, so you can get him yourself? Well you know what I think of you?! Hello?! She hung me up.” Mi madre me pregunte que quien es y le respondí que era Lupe Velez. My mother recognizes her and as she is walking out the door, she says “Me gusta Dolores del Río más.” Of course, I scoff at this and think to myself, Mi madre solo dice eso porque nomas se basa por la glamorization que le dan a Lupe Vélez. Las revistas quieren esa “belleza Mexicana” y sus romances escandalosos. Lupe has been portrayed at the Latina wildcat y Dolores como la mujer buena y decente. Ambos estereotipos giraban alrededor de la virtud y moral de las mujeres . . . 





Lupi or Loo-pee they call her. Ni pueden pronunciar su nombre bien.


la Mera Mera,

la mas chingona,

la puta or whore.

Su nombre es María Guadalupe Vélez de Villalobos nacida en San Luis Potosí, México.

Mejor conocida como Lupe Vélez.

Vino a los 15 anos y tuvo que regresar a México cuando su padre Jacobo se unió a la lucha en la Revolución Mexicana. Su padre era un coronel de las fuerzas armadas del dictador Porfirio Díaz. Volvio otra vez y encontro success at 17.

Se reían de su acento mexicano.

Su acento español embellecido añadido a un estilo agresivo de la personalidad que no se muestran por las mujeres anglas en aquellos tiempos.


Dicen que es una loca .

No se metan con ella, susurran , que la Mexican Spitfire es es capaz de todo.

Cualquier cosa.

They are ready to clip the nails of the Mexican Spitfire wildcat.

Just as Elizabeth from the film referred to her as.

A wildcat.

Pobre Lupe siente todo. Aunque parece que los chismes le vienen cortos, se siente. Esta sola. No pudo tolerarlo más y decidió que cuando tenía cuatro meses de embarazada, to intentionally ingesting Seconal.

Los enigmas de la celebridad de Lupe Vélez:

su papel de antagonista de la celebridad en la popular ciudad de México

su relación de amor/odio con Anglo Hollywood was reciprocated,

su ambivalente encarnación de la feminidad transgresora y "exótico”,

su hiperbólica desempeño de un estereotipo Latina volátil.


El Corazon Esta Llorando




I feel like Sappho when she asks Aphrodite to not cow her heart with grief.

See, I have physically went to the arms I turned back from the old days,

 los que me dieron consuelo.

But, I do not want to go back to the one whom I turned from the old days.

El miedo lelena mi cuerpo.

Mejor aun, me agobia todos los dias.

I will continue to go back to the arms I have turned back from the old days.


Sole Confidant