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Chapter 2 of Love and War includes: Opposites Attract, Voices in the Sky, and Portugese Say Love.

Opposites Attract

Men are hard, women are soft

And that’s not just in bed

Without women

Men become cold, brittle, cruel

Start lookin’ for another guy to duel

Hard needs soft

And soft don’t mean weak

In this dictionary

It’s just another word for unique


Roles can be reversed

But not our nature

Yin and yang

Tears and toys

Flowers and monster trucks

What’s going on?

Voices in the Sky

Dead tired, Cristina Marquez edged her car slowly onto her street, Avenida Grande, in South Gate. Despite the street’s name, it wasn’t much. Small houses in need of paint, too many cars. But at least the dead end street was quiet, isolated from the noise and violence of the neighborhood.


Cristina’s supervisor at Long Beach Memorial Hospital had asked her to work overtime.


“No, not tonight,” she answered.


“Why not? You always work overtime when I ask you.”

Portugese Say Love

My mom was born in Portugal

Under the sunny skies of a Catholic dictatorship

Her dad was a holy roller preacher with a vision of heaven

But a Baptist, so the whole family caught hell


Had the strength of his convictions

To get him through the beatings and evictions


Had four sisters and two brothers

Who had to share their father’s beefs

And  protect her from all others


But there was no protection from pops and all his rules

No dancing

No radios

No music

No way his kids would be the devil’s tools...

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