para Lupe Ontiveros
Now that she is a vieja
with dyed blonde hair
and not a threat to any gringa’s
beauty when she steps into
the frame of someone else’s fame,
you get to know her nombre, hombre.
does not roll off your tongue
and she paints no picture
in your mind because
you never knew she
was acting like a star.
You never went to a matinee
looking for her name
or waiting for Lupe to say,
the only lines she always had,
after knocking on the door
and peeking in, “Excuse me,
senior, do you need room service?”
She was a minority detail
in the mise en scene of
the movies we all went to see.
While the stars of film and life
carried on in the foreground
of our attention, in soft light and
perfect make up, with witty
lines and music for the moment,
Lupe was in the background, like us.
But she had a master key
to Hollywood, a back door entrance
that service people used to bring in
the catered lunches and distilled agua;
and when no one was looking,
she was letting otros enter,
making room for dreamers named
Lopez, Alba, Rodriguez, Dawson,
del Toro, Hayek, Mendes,
y para ti tambien.
Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved