The Grocery Store Across the Tex-Mex Border (Poem No.1)


Elsa has spent her entire life working.

She is a woman who does not belong

to the aristocracy, nor any privileged

class of writers, intellectuals, nor lawyers.

She has always been a merchant.

Her home was right on the street named Magdalena River.

It had very simple furnishings

that had been purchased in El Paso, Texas,

across one of the three border bridges separating Juarez,

(“Sun City,” where they say the sun shines better),

forgetting that where hits and good beats, is in Juarez,

forty percent of streets are sand,

desert in a landscape of maquiladoras (assembly plants),

foreign capital to create wealth to the first world and salaries to the third,

about $50 a fortnight for a Mexican worker.


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