We speak of being
sucked in, as if need
had not propelled us.
As if we might still croon the litany
of birthdate social security mother’s maiden name
and recollect the particles
we pressed into shape and service
crammed into our shoes.
But this rearrangement
is profound, this condition
Nothing escapes, not even light.
takes us like a death squad
from the borders of sunlit plots.
Somos desaparecidos. We are disappeared.
They find our hoes, rakes, rusted rifles,
the gleaming blades of identity
we thought would hack our way home.
They sound alarms, call a curfew,
comb the places they knew us to haunt.
They seek evidence of our indivisible natures
in shopping lists, laundry tags,
in hearsay reports of our dreams.
Night falls. They are exhausted.
They gather by fires
in a long, bewildered silence.
Finally, someone mutters
“fell in love.”
In dark rooms redolent of the usual suppers,
tobacco ashes glow and bob in helpless agreement.
They give it up, let it go.
They let their daughters
use the phone again.
Joel Deutsch is a writer living in Los Angeles. His literary non-fiction and
novel in progress can be read at www.joeldeutsch.net