MY NAME IS PEDRO
I swim in the water of a sea more vicious than salt. I ride the
waves of my deprived voice. I am an echo in the memory for
the unremembered. The ones that swim and swim and swim,
no island near, no shore, no sand. Perhaps I just fancy that I
swim. Perhaps I excavate the earth that sustains my flesh as a
promise that enriches old roots. Yes. I dig. I worm into the
moist soil. Tender seeds cover my dark garb, austere dirt foots
my empty sandals and I dig out with my mortality and scour
into the inner rocks until the name I am no more is less than
bone in the fugitive soil. Perhaps I just fancy that I dig.
Perhaps I fly into the wind and this winding movement carries
my flesh a foreshadowing that enriches old voices. Yes. I fly. I
swirl into the damp air. Hurricane dust covers my blue garb.
Warm air cleanses my empty sandals and I dart out with my
mortality and gnaw into the inner wind until the name I am no
more is less than shreds dashing ephemeral clouds. Perhaps I
just fancy that I fly. Perhaps I am the burning turmoil that
brings forth my flesh in smoke signs that decode perennial
holocausts. Yes. I burn. I am sparks in the bright flames.
Ardent soot covers my red garb. Dark cleanse my empty
sandals. I shoot out with my mortality and consume into the
inner fire until the name I am no more is less than ashes in the
volatile debris. Perhaps I just fancy that I fly, fancy that I
swim, fancy that I dig, fancy that I glow. Perhaps I fancy that I
come into this page so the nightmare unfolds and because I
am not here, I am here to bring you the memory of moss. My
voice whisper in shreds and splinters of their rain, flood the
silent waves into which I disappear. At least you can dismantle
the layers of my skin. Patiently. One by one and you can heal
the grave embedded in your chest. That grave of which
nobody knows. The grave in your chest that is never visited.
Without a date. Without an epitaph. But remember, my name
is Pedro. Pedro is my name even though, it is not I anymore.
—from Rattle #9, Summer 1998
Antonieta Villamil: “My brother Pedro ‘died of disappearance.’ He is in the long list of people that disappear every day in Central and South American countries.”