(Another Mexicano from Jalisco dead, five shots to his
his body and head, Nov. 20, 2004, in Los Angels)
You get them all, these images.
They are like migrants and economic exiles
Coming to your head, forcing their way
Into your wayward will, take residence there
And force you to cry out loud
Like the dry stones in Capistrano,
In the old mission churches
In the counters of restaurants on Santa Monica.
There in these places of pleasure for the palate
You washed the grime of plates
You cleared the grim in people's faces
And for six years, short for a long calvary of relief
For your folks back home in Jalisco or some campesino
Of centuries and centuries of social injustice,
You sent the checks in that rite of a promise fulfilled.
For six years, exilo, six years of eking out a life
From pots and pans and chilly caresses
With chilly mornings that come in late evenings
You came by and went by
And sang songs of going home to roost
And sang songs of returning home to preside
in the rite of healing of your parents
in the rite of healing of your memories
in the rite of healing of your tired hands
Those hands that knew suffering and sacrifice
The exilo as migrante knows
The exilo as migrante fears
The exilo as migrante accepts
The exilo as migrante must learn to love
The way you have loved so your days
The way you have loved so your
six years in the Los Angeles of our boldness
The way you have loved so each hour of your exilic life
Except this hour, this destined hour,
And in quick succession of five ratatattattats
Your courage and daring are now in the past tenses,
Irredeemably a part of the vagaries of various loves.
Tonite I watch your memory go
With the wooden casket
They parade on TV for all to see,
Their chant ripping open
The azul cielo your pilgrim soul knew:
Stop the killling now, now!
Stop the hatred now, now!
Bury the gun now, now!
Aurelio S. Agcaoili
Los Angeles, CA
Nov. 20, 2004