Los Desaparecidos (The Disappeared) by Michael Brockley

The ghost of the Sandy Hook teacher keens through the speakers of your Chevy Cruze, and the twelve-year old Christina-Taylor Green asks you if Harry Potter would marry a Muggle. Every night, you sleep beneath a quilt of music sewed by martyrs. On the night of Martin Luther King’s death, you bowed your head on the corner of 17th and Broadway while another doomed man hoisted a beacon of peace. Now the names of los desaparecidos are tattooed on your heart. Tamir Rice. Trayvon Martin. Ethel Lance. When did you read The Invisible Man? The Beatitudes? The roman à clef of the girls held captive in basement vaults in Cleveland? There is a word for the journey that changes a life. One for the place from where one’s strength is drawn. There is a word for the overwhelming desire to kiss another. A name for a person who finds peace within rain. How many times have you stopped your car in the middle of a road to carry a turtle to its mate on the other side? What if you planted a garden of milkweeds to nurture a thousand caterpillars before their metamorphosis into flight? What if you tended a hive of bees for every day of summer? The only voice you hear speaks in el lenguaje del silencio? History has become the love doll of pale men in gray suits. You carry a grief stone in your chest beside a morsel of rage. If you had to tell the truth, you don’t know which one weighs the most.

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