Midweek Essays – El Norte: In Memorium

It is such a bitter irony the way they found your body – naked, broken without a head.

They identified you by the fingerprints they took when the sent you back in ’89. But you tried again, chasing a dream only to cross the border to your death.

And I am never going to hear you laugh again,
never going to see your face again,
never going to hear you laugh again.

Walter, I remember when you’d sit outside the center to joke and smoke with your friends, watch the pretty Latinas go by, laughing at their smiles. Funny how we’d thought life would never end.

I put the flowers on the table by the photograph, black and white, just like the newspaper.

Outside it was gray and cold like my soul. I pulled my coat tighter and walked home in the snow.

August 26, 1992
Originally posted here October 2012

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