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MANUEL CALVILLO DE LA GARZA | Ode to You, Ford Ranger*

I have learned

to recognize

the shape

of your headlights,

to move myself

out of your way.

The distinct resonance

your guts make,

the mechanical rumble,

the grunt, your need

to swallow—

I know it

since before 2014:


When I read


on your side,

I think

about my name, too,

about our births,

our ontogenetic destinies:

me, pencil in hand,

I record the date

of a generic

English class—and you,

siren loud and bright,

aren’t you supposed

to transport


Anywhere I walk

you corner me

into a street,

all memory:

You block

the way,

number 002


above your back


Guns aim.

The Costa Line 2510


of Normalist students.


against bullets.

They beg you

to stop,

their friend

Aldo Gutiérrez Solano

lies beside you,

pool of blood expanding

from his head.


you take students—

nuestros hermanos—

with your guns

you point them

to the bed

that is your back,

and you take them

forever away

and into the bane

of remembrance.


*The Ford Ranger was used by the Iguala Municipal Police in

key events in the 2014 Ayotzinapa murders and disappearance

of 43 Normalist students.

(video warning: gore)


Manuel Calvillo de la Garza is a Mexican writer whose work has received support from Fiction Collective 2 and from Chapman University, where he taught and obtained his MFA from. He has participated at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, and as an Ancinas Scholar at Community of Writers. His work appears or is forthcoming in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Cutthroat Magazine, and in the anthology Puro Chicanx Writers of the 21st Century (2nd edition). He is at work finishing his first novel, 'School of Artistas Inmigrantes,' and will begin his PhD studies in Creative Writing at the University of Denver in Fall 2021.


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