From Juárez by Chella Courington

I am not a silent poet

(after a photograph by Miguel Gandert)

I’m Teresa Gutierrez. Look at me. Alive.

Not like my friend Cecilia Covarrubias. Shot

once in each breast and tossed in a field

where nothing grows.

The next day I ask my cousin to work

his magic. Tattoo the Blessed Mother.

Clothed with the stars and sun.

Spiked light down my back.

He lines and shades

week after week.

I flinch and turn away.

See our Lady of Guadalupe

rise out of my jeans.

Carry her with me.

To the maquiladora.

To dark streets after the second shift

crossroads where the bus stops.

Her mantle around me.

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