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Collective Memory


ISSUE:  Spring 2018


From 1848 to 1928, mobs murdered thousands of Mexicans, though surviving records allowed us to clearly document only about 547 cases.
— “When Americans Lynched Mexicans,”
New York Times, February 20, 2015

ten mexicans are dead, left to suffocate in a trailer, discovered after the driver asked someone for a drink of water. the truck’s cooling system was broken, & that’s one way to describe the arrhythmia of our fumbling americana. bodies, their sorrows boiling as if on a stove, vital organs melting plastic through texas’s fingers. we’ve left their dreams lifeless, dangling by the necks, carotids wrung out to dry like old hand towels my grandmother pins on a line—they give breeze back for the wind to bear in a way skin can’t. what violence gives back to us is more of itself, & power gives us delete, delete, delete. another mexican, interrupted from planting flowers in a horse’s skull, was bound to a mesquite & taught a lesson about divinity’s combustion. the lynch mob wasn’t satisfied until they couldn’t tell his body from the bark. in san antonio, authorities peel the bodies away from where they lie, but they can’t remove the wreckage from their faces: deeper still is that old trailer abandoned in victoria, the one with eighteen dead mexican immigrants inside…this is not plagiarism—this is history in circles

 

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