to Elina Chauvet
I know my turn will be soon. I’ll feel the blow as I walk carefree. The sweaty hand will cover my mouth, and I’ll vomit my scream into his palm. A bullet will carve a heart in my skull, or perhaps a metal blade will tattoo a necklace on my neck. Between his fingers, my blood will become a river as wide as the Río Bravo. Before they arrive, I tear out my pupils and guard them on the bottom of the sea. They’re comfortable there; the salt tastes like tears to them. I sharpen my nails and scratch my skin. I practice the only thing left for us: collecting evidence for the coroner. Before they find me I’m already a cadaver. I seal myself in a coffin and pretend to be dead. That way death is a game of hide-and-seek and not a witness to the terror.
I know my turn approaches, just like that of the women on the borders, in the wars, in the homes they groom and embellish before the punishment. This fate of bruises on the skin no longer surprises us. Only dusty shoes tossed on the road shall remain. Lonely shoes that dream of a fairy tale in which a prince finds his mistress in the arches of our dead feet.