Christian  Hanz Lozada

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Genetic Memory Can Be More Than Trauma, For a Moment

“Before I was born/I absorbed struggle/just looking/at history hurts” –Thomas Ellis

It’s hard to explain blood fear,
the nonsensical distance you need to hold
without the experience to rationalize.

I am not Brown Dad’s struggles,
living amongst the colonizers and oppressors,
but my blood screams when they’re close.

I am not White Mom’s terror
living amongst the colonized and oppressed,
but my blood screams when they’re close.

Right now, you’re thinking: these things are taught.
Yes, I say, yes they are,
and the lesson is in the blood
because Brown Dad said only snippets
but shut up when success came.

Yes, I say, yes they are,
and the lesson is in the blood,
because White Mom spoke her fear
but acted against it.

Before I was born, I absorbed their fears and hates,
and learned their lesson:
there are moments,
if you’re open,
when you can confuse fear and hate              for love

and my blood screams for you to feel those moments
as everyday history unfolds
it pounds in my ears
it hurts enough to hide
to fear
to hate
and maybe,

until then, I’ll tend to my inherited hurt
and keep you at a distance.

Wanting Only Work But Knowing The Body Won’t Last

Bookending the middle children,
Manoy A played football
White Brother did, too,
and they were joined by cousins on both sides
while Manoy B and I stayed on the sidelines,
hanging with the women
never committing to that life.

It’s as if Manoy B and I knew, already, that
like high school,
the body is temporary;
instead of that passion for local fame,
we sought it on personal terms
like dancing just outside of prom
where you can feel the beat
but can’t hear it.

It’s as if Manoy B and I knew to learn the lesson
that your day in the sun is too short to stake it on the body,
better to place your money on long bets.

Manoy B bet on property because it has nothing to do with his body
and everything to do with yours.

I chose to write because when diabetes took John Fante’s eyes and legs
he still worked,
and that’s all I’ve known to want.

Monster Looks for a Friend

the words that should be said
we leave silent

the kindnesses that should be done
we leave wanting

the act that is vital
we leave absent

sit me down next to any person,
and in the vast amounts of nothing I talk about
will be the razor that cuts quick
the move so fast, the blade so thin
no one but the victim knows about it

because I don’t know they’re bleeding,
I offer kindnesses: “let me get you dinner”
let me get you water
let me do some meaningless gesture

to lower your guard down just enough
for the blade again

when they made me,
the gods shaped a creature of fine hurt,
coating my tongue in invisible needles
coating my skin in a south polarity

I smile
I love
I want
always at a cost


The couple sitting next to me is aggressively petting each other,
and I focus on my bottle,
stripping the label,
all condensation-moist,
with my fingernails.
I try to keep the line continuous and curling,
like a perfectly scooped ice cream.

The couple keep petting each other,
making it awkward for everyone; we all see it
and I focus on the absence of the label,
the bottle naked and exposed
for all to see.

The couple keep petting each other
and we cheer them on in our attempts to not look.
Each label we peel gets us closer to what we want
an unobstructed view.


Christian Hanz Lozada has a poetry book: Leave With More Than You Came With. He currently lives in San Pedro, CA and teaches his neighbors’ kids at Los Angeles Harbor College.