Skip to main content
By Erika L. Sánchez

According to a report from the University of San Diego’s Justice in Mexico project, 138,000 people have been murdered in Mexico since 2006.

They call it the corner of heaven:
a laboratory, a foot at the throat
of an empire. Before the holy
dirt, the woman with the feline gait
waits with tangled hair, mouth
agape — the letter X marked
on what’s left of her breasts
and face. Nuestra Belleza
. A roped mule
watches a man place a crown
on her severed head. Tomorrow
the queen will be picked clean
by the kindness of the sea.
Shuttered shops and empty
restaurants. Stray dogs couple
in a courtyard. Under a swaying
palm tree, a cluster of men
finger golden pistols, whisper,
aquí ni se paran las moscas.
Two boys, transfixed, watch
a pixelated video: a family fed
to a swarm of insatiable pigs.
A butcher sweeps blood
from an empty street. Death
is my godmother
, he repeats.
Death is a burnt mirror.
When the crackling stereo
dithers between stations — amor
de mis amores, sangre de mi alma
a gaggle of silent children
gather before a sputtering
trash bin. Together they watch
the terror hover like flies.

Source: Poetry (December 2015)

  • Living
  • Mythology & Folklore
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Erika L. Sánchez
Erika L. Sánchez is a CantoMundo fellow and winner of the 2013 “Discovery”/Boston Review Prize. Her nonfiction has been published in Al Jazeera, Cosmopolitan, the Guardian, NBC News, Rolling Stone, Salon, and many others. In 2015, Sánchez was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She lives in Chicago.  See More By This Poet

More Poems about Living

Browse poems about Living

More Poems about Mythology & Folklore

Browse poems about Mythology & Folklore

More Poems about Social Commentaries

Browse poems about Social Commentaries Get a random poem