• Anthony Cody

Bracero(s) & The Ice Car, a Mexican Lynching


I.

The circumference

of a town is a proverb.

II.

How distant the railroad tracks bisect the people

& the possesser

from the center to create the corporeal.

III.

That distance is Bracero(s)

in the ice car all day

stacking

& loading & replenishing the cold

the ice

all day.

IV.

In the proximity is the burn

of Bracero(s), a slow freeze

into the ice car

into the summer

into this land & that.

V.

Draw the circle.

Ask Bracero(s): : Do you have an alien registration number?

Reduce the radius, & redraw.

Ask Bracero(s): : Can you recite the pledge of allegiance?

Reduce the radius, & redraw.

Ask Bracero(s): : Where are you living at present?

Reduce the radius, & redraw.

Ask Bracero(s): : Who is the father of America?

Reduce the radius, & redraw.

Ask Bracero(s): : Are there children?

Reduce the radius, & redraw.

Ask Bracero(s): : Are you married?

Reduce the radius, & redraw.

Ask Bracero(s): : Where did you enter this country?

Reduce the radius, & redraw.

Ask Bracero(s): : Do you have family on the other side?

Reduce the radius, & redraw.

Ask Bracero(s): : Does sensation remain in your fingertips?

Reduce the radius, & redraw.

Ask Bracero(s): : Can you sign your full name inside this box?

Reduce the radius, & redraw.

VI.

To narrow a body, excise.

Anthony Cody was born in Fresno, California with roots in both the Dust Bowl and Bracero Program. He is a CantoMundo fellow, an editorial member of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle, a graduate artist at US Poet Juan Felipe Herrera's Laureate Lab at Fresno State, and a graduate of Fresno State. His poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Boiler Journal, ToeGood Poetry Journal, Tropics of Meta, and El Tecolote Newspaper. He served as co-editor of "How Do I Begin?: A Hmong American Literary Anthology" (Heyday), in which he also contributed poems. He currently resides in Chicago, IL.