Poem for Culiacán

I wrote the following poem on October 19, 2019. Photo/Mark Vallen

I wrote "Poem for Culiacán" on October 19, 2019. Photo/Mark Vallen

Set afire & ravaged by drug lords
Culiacán, the eden with three rivers
burns through the night
the Guadalupe watches from
La Lomita, her sanctuary church
it has the best view of the dying city

The same giant white SUVs
blue skies, cactus, palm trees
the same brown-skinned people
sinners, saints, criminals, victims
Los Angeles or Culiacán
what’s the difference?

The rivers Humaya, Tamazula & Culiacán
hear the screams & gunfire, their bridges
are choked with burning cars & trucks
they smell smokeless powder & fear
their waters reflect armed assassins

Cartel hitmen butcher & dismember
their way through the crimson graveyard
known as Mexico, where El Presidente
cowers & mewls—”we do not want war”

And in the United States
where some wail over
the unguarded border of Syria
the red-hot conflagration of Mexico ablaze
fails to scorch American hearts & minds.

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