Poet Jose Fonseca Reads El Paso Del Norte

El Paso del Norte

Morning floods the desert
valley with gold light.
Submerged are sister cities,
separated by a slush river
that mucks the world in its waning

dirty water. Bloated corpses rise up
and float face down
bobbing on the surface
of the gold light
like silent drones. On television’s
electric eye, the dead displayed
by red eye reporters siphoning
substance off images of bloody asphalt
and bodies draped under sheets .
and their numbers are bolstered

every night as the new corpses sink
into the sky with the others
drifting on the surface
of dawn’s light
like toe-tagged kites. The children
that live in the cities look up

at the heights where they will fall.
The oxidized green church
bells bang away, bang and bang,
ricocheting off the hanging bodies,
echoing into the mouths of
the citizenry as they tongue
morning rosary rites for the dead.
The children repeating the rites.

Santo Niño,
Santa María,
San Pedro,
Santa Murete,
standing stone epitaphs
on a cemetery hill that
surfaces out of the dawn’s gold,
the hump back of a leviathan
peeking from the depths.

Displacing in ripples the bodies that
hover on the surface
of the morning light
like punctured piñatas. Political
posters on leaning streetlamps,

baiting with red print rhetoric .
Sugar skull politician
pointing with twisted fingers to the sky
smiling with gap tooth rehearsed grace.

And the corpses drift on indifferent
to us all, muted, marooned
over head nothing
to the sister cites
they’re just
dead.

 

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