Camino Real
After Joshua Clover
First it was one checkpoint & then it was  
another checkpoint. On the highway between  
D.F. & Puebla two Federales boarded the bus  
and ordered the women off. We tend  
to think not me, or just me. One wore  
an assault rifle across his back, another  
pointed a video camera at our faces.  
At these moments, we tend to think  
massacre, as in no longer a number,  
or biopower, as in Foucault’s botched  
orgy visions. The one with the assault rifle  
said quite los lentes, and I was on my knees 
as in prayer, the compliance position, 
pure submission. The Federales  
laughed, and I was just another  
silly woman with dusty knees removing  
her expensive sunglasses at a checkpoint  
south of a Volkswagen factory where  
Mexicans manufacture German cars,  
as in high performance engines; speed  
management. Not bullets, but the red  
record button, the mouth effaced  
by the camera saying rubia, linda,  
ojos verdes. To my left, a covered  
well for animals. The assumption  
is that the missing are dead  
or in safe houses. The assumption 
as slippage of language. To my right, 
the bus where V watched me watching  
the camera pan in on my face.  
Blue curtains, the smell of animals  
and cooking oil. We were, by this time,  
already leaving, as in all of this was  
no longer our problem—checkpoints,  
surveillance, narcoterrorism, as in  
the D.E.A. doctrine; species management.  
Footage of Rodney King, Katrina,  
Los Angeles, New Orleans, the National Guard.  
We call it a lifestyle decision, these mornings  
spent reading El Norte on our iPads,  
studying the photos of headless bodies  
hanging from bridges. Biopower— 
a covered well for animals. The squinting  
and trying not to piss oneself. 
The not me of it, which is the final take.  
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