Unmarked Graves (Internet Reports from Veracruz, 2017)

by Robert Joe Stout

One-hundred thirty-five… the thinking part of me
dissolves and I am there, in Veracruz,
with Mel and Mont smoking cigars
and flirting with the bella selling flavored cones
made from shredded ice …one-hundred thirty-five
in a mass grave, pieces of skulls
and spines and belts and shoes…
I troll past the photos, grimy workmen,
rakes and shovels, mouths and noses
masked against the smell. A face, a gesture,
like that of fat Armando dipping crabs in boiling water,
laughing as he boasts of wrestling crocodiles
“Threw the beast a hundred meters
back to the lagoon..!” Thatched roof bar,
cascades of flowers, laughter, everywhere the people
laughing, rainbow colors swirling …the sky
a gluey gray above the women digging,
putting bits of bone in plastic bags… I turn away
from the computer, hear a voice
from the cantina whisper love words
in my ear. Veracruz …one-hundred thirty-five…
No arrests, no convictions, just small pieces
of what once were people flirting, dancing.
I close my eyes, the laughter, singing
fades away, becomes the moans of those who died
and those who piece together their remains.

Robert Joe Stout’s most recent books are Monkey Screams and Where Gringos Don’t Belong. Other books include A Perfect Throw (Aldrich Press), Hidden Dangers (Sunbury Press) and Running Out the Hurt (Kindle). He is a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of magazines, including New Politics. Born in Nebraska, he now lives in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Comments

By Dennis Alexander on Sep 14, 2017 13:51 (UTC)

Are you referring to this report https://goo.gl/QAxrDw in the poem?