THE BODY COLLECTOR OF SPAIN
When migrants die at sea, he gets them home.
—Nicholas Casey and Leire Ariz Sarasketa
—from Poets Respond
November 21, 2021
Tamara Kreutz: “During my morning walks, I listen to The Daily podcast by The New York Times. Sometimes an episode is so moving, I have to stop and sit down on the curb to let my mind process the story. Last week, I learned about a man, Martín Zamora, a seemingly unremarkable man, a mortician in southern Spain who is quietly, all on his own, finding the identities of drowned migrants who wash up on the shoreline near his hometown. He deals in death as a profession but understands that the dead are not nameless. They have histories, homes, and families who love them. He brings loved ones’ closure and delivers bodies back home for burial. While thinking about Martín’s story and reading more about him, I wondered what the unknown dead might think of this man who advocates for them when no one else cares to, who gives their humanity back by finding their memories and names.” (web)