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Identity Theft

May 18, 2009

If Artemio had any sense of identity,
it was buried in the deep past,

stone pyramids did not enter into it,
Mexican revolutions dead stadiums,

guerilleras not part of it either,
brazeros zilch, algodon cotton,

campesinos nel, chasing the crops
in canvas-covered trucks not important,

yet words of all sorts humbled him,
beckoned him, torn like a weed

from the ground, the weed clutching
the stony clods of dirt,

Artemio unknowingly accepted the air,
wore the sky like a shirt,

did not call the sun by its Aztec name,
gave it his own foul name,

gave everything a dirty name,
if Artemio had any sense of identity,

it lay within, and without—
sole surviving son of La pinche Malinche.

Reyes Cardenas

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