An article in the February 2014 issue of National Geographic inspired this flash piece. The brief was written by a cultural anthropologist named Jason De Leon whose team “studies what happens to undocumented migrants crossing the border from Mexico to the U.S. Many don’t make it. So the archaeology and anthropology we do are often unpleasant–uncovering death and physical and emotional suffering. We hope the research that we do can aid immigration law reform.” This particular article look at a 41-year-old migrant woman they found dead alone in Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. The named her Marisol to put some kind of verbal humanity to her. Marisol made it to America, I guess.
My name is not Marisol. My name is Eva.
I was born under a weeping moon in a field of my father’s to a mother made of charred glass and corn stalks.
Eva, earthly Eva, crowned into the world under a hail of Hail Marys. My life was a Hail Mary pass.
These men look me over now, my body parched, my human skin revealed animal. I float above and assess alongside them, correcting silently that which they can not possibly know.
They find my blanket in my belongings. I had buried it under the outstretched tree limbs near where I died. I knew I was leaving, that my journey would give me just a sweet bitter taste of the fruit I had worked so hard to pick. Burying the blanket, a gift from my granddaughter, was a burial ceremony for myself. I knew my body would soon belong to the earth, soon belong to other men.
I look at my fingers as they are gently lifted from the ground they grasped in death. Cold now, they were once so smooth, yet to be sanded by the grittiness of a life spent in struggle. My fingers once wore promise rings and linked with the fingers of friends to make promises to leave this dry, deserted place.
So many promises, strung together like the wax beads of a rosary. Each promise leading to another, eventually leading the unsuspecting promise chaser in one big circle. So many promises, like wax beads prepared to melt in the heat if you held on to them for too long.
All this world is is hot.
copyright jackiemantey.com, sucka