After Jose Hernandez Diaz
Jose, you have opened my eyes,
with the poem about Nick, the
quick, Van Exel. Why didn’t I ever
think about writing a poem about
that team I rooted for since my youth?
Why not a poem about Eddie Jones,
who was smooth and steady player?
His number should have been hanging
in the rafters, if not for Kobe Bryant
joining the team. I would have loved to
wear an Eddie Jones or a Nick Van Exel
jersey, but I could not afford either.
I watched those games on Channel 9
with Chick and Stu announcing. I could
understand why Nick Van Exel was your
favorite player. Come to think about it,
he was my favorite player too. Drafted
37th, such a steal. He played with a chip
on his shoulder for being dissed. He made
his share of buzzer beaters to the cheers
of the crowd. This poem is for you, Jose,
for Nick, the quick, and for smooth Eddie.
In this arena we practice our crossover,
three-point shots, and behind the back passes.
Sometimes the mustard falls off the hot dog
but we keep trying. Someday a kid will be
wearing a jersey with a poet’s name in the back.
Born in Mexico, Luis lives in the San Gabriel Valley in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. He is the author of Make the Water Laugh, (Rogue Wolf Press, 2021), and Make the Light Mine, (Kendra Steiner Editions, 2016). His poetry has appeared in Blue Collar Review, Escape Into Life, Live Nude Poems, Mad Swirl, Triggerfish Critical Review, and Unlikely Stories.