A poet named Rogelio Velasco professes his love to a woman named Lupita, whose name he spells out using the first letter of every paragraph (or stanza) in this prose poem. “I have the misfortune of being both poor and without your affection,” he writes. “Until death do us part, said your eyes,” one of the stanzas begins, “but not your heart. All, all illusion. A caprice of your flirtatious woman’s soul.” He explains the feeling of having met his “destiny” upon seeing her for the first time, when he arrived in front of her dressed in his uniform and “carrying the tools of [his] trade.” Later, he suggests that perhaps he “can exterminate the pests of doubt that infest [her] house.” In the final stanza, he asks how “a love so tender and sweet” can “become the cross of [his] pain.”
Rogelio’s grand proclamations in “Tin Tan Tan” are first and foremost included in this story collection to accompany the following piece, “Bien Pretty.” Nonetheless, Cisneros’s interest in love and fraught relationships is once again evident, this time taking shape in Rogelio’s melodramatic poetry. As such, she prepares readers to learn more about Lupita and the nature of her romantic partnership with Rogelio.