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Eduardo C. Corral reads his poem "Border Patrol Agent".


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My name is Eduardo C. Corral. I'm going to read one of my poems titled "Border Patrol Agent", which is a persona poem and the speaker in this poem is a Mexican-American border patrol agent working the terrain between Nogales, Mexico and Tuscon, Arizona. So southern Arizona where I was born and raised.

Border Patrol Agent

Summer is a puta.  I park
                        beneath branches, crank up the AC
                                                              in the Jeep.
I hate the rear view mirror. 
     It makes me look like my father.  Chaste
                                        & singed.  Last week,
beneath a sky Walmart blue,  
                in a clearing full of bottles, sneakers, 
                                                                 TP rolls,
I found a body.  Legs
                          gnawed to the knees, barbed wire tight
the throat.
              I remembered graffiti
                                        on a boulder: God
is always hungry.

    Sometimes, with binoculars, 
                                               I watch wild horses
hurry through the heat.  Once
                     a yearling stopped mid-gallop
then collapsed
     into a bed of coals the rain could not extinguish.
                                                                The radio
is always crackling:
                 six wets sighted on infrared,
                                                 need a spic speaker stat...

I only speak Spanish with my father.
                        He often mistakes blue parakeets
on the stove for gas flames.
                                 Last July, far from Tucson, 
                                                     I found a rape tree:
torn panties draped on branches.
                         The tree a warning,
                                      a way for smugglers
to claim terrain. 
    Lightning climbs a hillside like a stilt walker.
strikes the windshield.
                         I think of my wife
                                      asleep on her side.  Breasts
pressed together 
               as if one were dreaming the other.
                                                      Her womb
     My dick useless. 
                         There are things I just can't tell her.
Sometimes only body parts remain.
                                       They're buried 
in baby caskets.