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 . .  .   . A poem a day
                                    6 August 1999
.
 

MATAMOROS


there is a desert here where cacti are vaudeville
actors hooked out of the scenery
where shells of heavy cardboard
and sheet metal are dancefloors
for the sun's legs
where you may find
                                        soaking in solvent pits
enough scrap to buy milk for the youngest baby

there is a death here
waiting for
                        bacteria
                        corrupted minerals
                        fluids no longer resembling water
                        that ignite without flame

easy to say how good
life is here
how the water evolves in 
open ditches
                         free to everyone
                         like the electricity
pirated from power lines
through splices that
spark when the rats yawn

there is work here
new sewing machines
and welding torches
                         even masks and finger cots
and pockets
in dyed pants from the texas prisons
to carry home the pesos

venom of the rattler is juice of the maquiladora
                                                          an epidemic
squeezed by the petrified wind
until coal turns into diamond

                          jewel of the rio grande
                          jewel of corporate america
                          mexico's tumor

- Livo Farallo

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