Posts Tagged ‘Drug War’


Friday, June 3rd, 2011



For the Mexican poet, Javier Sicilia, on his March for Peace and Justice
following the assassination of his son. And for the healing of Casa Mexico.


The poet leads the demonstration,
silently, on his feet.

Three days they walked together
in a solitude of hundreds,
who gave words between shudders
– ni uno mas-of grief.

From the high green mountains
to the valley of volcanoes
hundreds became millions walking,
walking as pilgrims in a labyrinth
through Mexico’s streets.

There, in the great plaza,
the poet opened his voice to Casa Mexico
as a father at bedtime prayers
with his only child.

His rosary dangled on his chest.
So much weight, so much on a string of beads.
A heart placed in its crux hears and holds,
with room for our crimes, our petty altruisms
and our interims of beauty.

The poet walks.
Several million are walking,
and with our footsteps, words sway,
as our pendulum over the earth:
– paz y justica con dignidad,
Peace and Justice with Dignity.


[Translations: ni uno mas: not one more.
paz, justica y dignidad: peace, justice and dignity.]

Border Town

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

For the children of Juarez


The barrio radio
pitches hilarity at our windows,
with clumps of baritone, the news.

We try to untwist
from our sheets of sleep.
The day, already binding.

Outside, the bougainvillea
are magenta fountains,
bolder than we in daylight
and bolder at scaling walls.

Our kitchen table stands
still warm from our breakfast bowls,
and Mama’s on the long ride
to a factory on the outskirts.

Until night, when the lightbulb
shivers on its wire
over the shhhh…tunk of Mama’s ironing
on tomorrow’s school uniforms.

But we want what her factory makes.
And we do not want to die trying.

Javier died not trying anything.
Without and empty, only walking
where came sudden guns.

Hear? Until he died trying,
Jaime got cash for meth
by the arroyo that disappeared Maria,
and you didn’t hear.

Sundays, the church pews slump,
old backs of prayer horses,
and we taste bitter copal
with body and blood.

The supper table stands
on loose legs, with cold places
at vacant chairs.

Don’t let it be.

Don’t let the bougainvillea drop
to piles of sepia,
fragile and faded…

like we are already gone.