Mariana Rodríguez


A country has died
The dead come without warning
As a wild wind
Pitiable and fearful

A country has died by the hands of my brother
And mourning covers the face of my father
The mask of the pain hides the face of my mother
And yet, I feel alone in the middle of the family grief.

It wasn’t his fault
The country was crossing the highway slowly
My brother was distractedly singing one old song that
                                                                                           we used to like so much
                                                                                                                         so much…

We only heard a muffled sound
When we realized, the little country was under the tire
My brother and I got out of the car
But it was so late

—I wish this country had a birth mark!
                                                                                           He said
                                                                                                                         Just to know what country it was.
—Don’t be foolish! Countries don’t have scars.
He looked at me, he knew I was right.
There was nothing we could do
His chest was broken
There was blood all over the road.

We took the corpse and put it in the trunk
We knew mom and dad would be very upset with us
We promised to clean the whole mess
But the damage was already done

Today, I tell myself that my brother was the silent murderer
That everything was an accident
That country looked very old
I don’t want to accept that it was also my fault
I wanted to go to the lake
It was a beautiful day, the sun was over us
We were just singing our favorite song
The one that
                                                                            we used to like so much.

Mariana Rodríguez is a Mexican writer, translator, and editor. Mariana believes that translation is a tool for attacking cultural hegemonies. She is fluent in Spanglish. Twitter: @MGilmouRimbaud
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