The Brillantina Project



I know these names,
these Latinx names.

I know these names with the
elle sound of the double Ls
and that those names will be placed
on altars for Día de los Muertos.

I know these names with
the sliding ñ sound
that will be on prayer cards
handed out at funerals.

I know these names with
rolling r’s that will be said
during rosaries and novenas.

These names sound like mine,
like those of my cousins and uncles,
of my siblings and friends.

Yes, I know these names.
Yet, I know these names
are not their only names.

I know there is an Angelito,
a Juanito, a Miguelito,
a Frankie, an Eddie,
a Dee-Dee, a Drew, a Javi,

a Gryffindor, a novio,
a corazón, an amor,
a tío, a tía, a mijo, a mija,
a mamá, and a papá.

Yes, my heart knows these names
they are familia.

Miguel M. Morales

Miguel M. Morales grew up working as a farmworker. A Lambda Literary Fellow and an alum of VONA/Voices and the Macondo Writers Workshop, Miguel’s work appears in From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction, Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, and in the forthcoming Imaniman: Anzaldua Poetic Anthology.