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Obituary to the Known and the Unknown Dead By Camilo Villalpando


Obituary to the Known & the Unknown Dead: Is it possible that within this soil lies an ocean of black grief, bodies buried and unknown, unmarked graves, how many children have been lynched or shot, women bludgeoned and left for dead in the trees heavy with blood, no one looked or perhaps they looked a long time, perhaps the country town is now a city street, on the pavement is a stain, someone thought there were drugs inside a house, now everybody is dead, no drugs were found, only bodies and blood, there was once a man who was on the ground with a knee on his neck, crying for his mama, how many times might it have happened, that same cry— that’s what they never put in the history books, you know, the mutilations, the humiliations, the shrills, the cries, it’s so easy to look the other way, and then forget, and then forget again, and then teach the method of forgetting, generation after generation after generation until it’s all a surprise again and again, we didn’t know, we didn’t know of your dead, of the boys killed running down the road, we didn’t know about the prison camps, about the unmarked graves, the ditches in steel towns where your bodies were thrown, we didn’t know.

-Camilo Villalpando

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