They call me . . .

Me llamo Reynaldo Antonio Webb Macías, but

they call me
Tony, watching with clicking tongues
and jaundiced eyes
as I play with the wrong little girl
though in fourth grade,
I didn’t know there were

they call me
Tony, kind of a nick name, a
short name, cutting down the man
I’m to become before I arrive . . .
even as Mr. Kilgore tells me my
bodies changin’, and maybe I
should think about deodorant now

We call me
Tonio, because Reynaldo is my father
and Antonio is formal
(that’s what we call me when
I sneak a girl in the house or
don’t come home til half past one)

they call me
Tony, the only democrat in my
(middle) class,
arguing that affirmative action doesn’t
discriminate, but makes up for
generations of abuse on the United Plantation

they call me
porch monkey, spook, jungle bunny, coon
with a smile, these friends of mine
and a hearty laugh telling me -
No, no, we’re just serious
three-fourths secondary
100% Amerikkkan

I call me
Antonio, as the pen turns
from torture to salvation
“all demons loosed
and howling through my pen”
saving me from the echoes
echoes echoes of my self
Who am I? Do you know? I do . . .

they call me
Antonio, defined by me as
blue phi you know
let’s go to the stepshow
one nation under a groove
he’s always actin’ so crazy
showin out
is he Sambo in 1991?

they call me
Antonio, as I try fail try
succeed to higher learn
what a Chicano is and why
I should study who am. I

She calls me
Tonio, in the heat of a February night
when the time is right
sing, Marvin, sing “I’ve been really trying, baby
tryin to hold back this feelin for so long . . .”
will you wear my . . . self
down the aisle? I do
not. shots of clear liquid flowing
slowing watching her go

resuming my life . . .
they call me
Reynaldo, because the blue paper
said they could, what would I
like to teach?
do I think I can reach
the youth of tomorrow today?

they call me
Reynaldo, as I push, push, push
myself along. this is what
we call my father, only they call him
Doctor, too. phone calls at my parent’s
house become a game of cat
and mouse, “Do you want the older,
or the younger?”

She calls me
Reynaldo, at work
Antonio, at home
over and over again in the shower
hour after hour,
the KISS, I miss, I wish it lasts
blasts off
landing three thousand miles this side of ecstasy

they call me
Reynaldo! cuz in Rhode Island
you can’t turn left from Thayer onto Waterman
or be Black and Intelligent and funny
or tell them the truth without being
Angry
or have a bad day without being
Troubled

they call me
Reynaldo . . . Papi I’ve been listening
or doing something right
(count me as one in a million)
people calling, asking if my time
can be spared
if I care to help them

I call me
Reynaldo Antonio Webb Macías
gracias a Dios, I’m learning that
I can act without Sambo
I can preach . . . I mean teach and they’ll learn
listen think
there’s a light at the end of the tunnel
just like I am
but mostly,

I call me
home.

© Reynaldo A. Macias 2006