Poem: Kosh’ tu’n Woo Mu’uch? by Amalia Alvarez, in honor of Luís “El Sapo/Mu’uch” Góngora Pat

Kosh’ tu’n Woo Mu’uch

¿Dónde está El Gran Sapo?

Where is the Great Toad Mu’uch, El Sapo Góngora?


Yuum Cháak/Mayan Rain Dios, Kosh’ tu’n Woo Mu’uch

El Sapo Góngora, The Great Toad with liquid skin and marble ojos

The Great Toad who hums to you, Dios de La Lluvia/Yuum Cháak

The Great Toad who strums those sweet vocals in the dark,

Enticing you with Sapo ballads to bring the floods for the harvest

En las montañas Yucatecas

El corazón de la gente está seco sin El Gran Sapo

The heart of the people is cracked and thirsty without The Great Toad

El Sapo! Are you dribbling your soccer ball

Through the city streets, jugando el fút

All supernatural, pasando por Yelamu Village?

Where the Mission Police Station now sits,

Perched on 17th and Valencia?

Your bodiless spirit bounces, cruising sideways

Lighting la mission vision

Do you ever run into the souls of Ohlone

Indígena hermanas y hermanos, emerging from

This moist Ohlone clay, old and fresh

Like Yuum Cháak’s nubes de agua?

The Mission Police Station

Where you went after you were illegally evicted and

Separated from your brother

You had no place

No place to go

No place to sleep

No place to exist

No place to breathe

You aren’t in Teabo, your Mayan Yucatan,

Laughing with your wife and three children as the youngest

Face paints with maíz molido

You aren’t in the field sleeping under a roof of emerald palm

En la montaña con tu gemelo, José, soñando de la cosecha,

La calabaza, y las semillas del pepino

At the station, you said to the officer behind the window:

“Send me home if I have to sleep in the streets.”

“Estoy solamente pidiendo ayuda/I am only asking for help”

Y la policía te respondió: “If you don’t leave, I’ll lock you up.”

Esa noche no sabías que te iban a matar, esos policías americanos

That night at the Mission Police Station you didn’t know

You didn’t know Sergeant Nate Steger and Officer Michael Mellone

Were going to roll up on you on 19th and Shotwell, while you sat

Minding your own business, chillin’ against a metal gate

They hunted you, as if for sport, like robots in a video game

Programmed to suffocate the living essence of your soul in 28 seconds flat

You were on the ground when Officer Mellone

Chose to claim you as his kill, change weapons,

Take out his gun, and forever extinguish your cosmic light

With a fatal blast to your forehead, that tore open

Your delicate cabeza, and tossed your brains on the sidewalk


Yuum Cháak/Dios de La Lluvia,

Kosh’ tu’n Woo Mu’uch ¿Has visto El Gran Sapo?

©Amalia Alvarez 2017

Jose con Sapito editada.jpg

José Góngora Pat with a little toad offering to leave at his brother’s altar on his one year anniversary of death. April 7, 2017

Words from José Góngora Pat to Amalia Alvarez on her reading of this poem at City Hall on April 7, 2017:

“Yo me sentí muy orgulloso de su poema que le dedicó a Luís y que la gente escuchó ayer. Yo me sentí triste y ya de último me di cuenta que la gente estaba atenta, sintiendo la misma tristeza del Sapo Góngora y poco a poco se nos fue abriendo el corazón con la alegría del sapo Góngora.”

Translation: “I felt very proud of your poem that you dedicated to Luis, and that people heard yesterday. I felt sad, and towards the end, I realized that the people were attentive, feeling the same sadness for the Toad Góngora and little by little our hearts started opening with the joy of the Toad Góngora.”


One thought on “Poem: Kosh’ tu’n Woo Mu’uch? by Amalia Alvarez, in honor of Luís “El Sapo/Mu’uch” Góngora Pat

  1. Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!


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