Consuelo Flores

Ciudad Juarez

In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the girls keep dying. Juarez, where shantytowns call to young girls,
Beckoning them like Roman Catholic candles in the midnight sky.

The girls assemble parts for planes, VCRs, TVs, CD/DVD players over and over and over
In factories that pop out from the desert sands like barbed wire in a garden of babies breath.

The feeling of responsibility to their families, overcomes the desert trap
And never-ending maze of sand and buildings and assembly lines.

They feel responsible especially to their mothers who stand over stoves stirring pots of beans
Into futures as Jude, the Patron Saint of the worker, watches from the lit veladora.

In Juarez they stand in assembly lines, their fine motor skills
Like alchemists transforming arid despair into existence.

“Desert whores” they are called, to justify the lack of action in their deaths.

A “whore” was at one time a dear and precious thing, an object of desire,
Something to like and be fond of, something to protect.

If only the first meaning resonated today in the hollowed deserts of Juarez.

The girls assemble parts for planes, VCRs, TVs, CD/DVD players
While we go on trips, watch movies, television shows, listen to music over and over and over.

In the meantime, their bodies are found strewn about the desert between Juarez and El Paso,
Sliced open, burnt and violated, like precious seeds, which Saint Jude left unattended.

Consuelo Flores is a Creative Non-Fiction MFA graduate of Antioch University, Los Angeles where she was awarded the Diversity and Eloise Klein Healy Scholarships, given to a student that shows the most promise and has demonstrated a commitment to social justice. She has presented her work at Self Help Graphics, the Armory Center for the Arts, Beyond Baroque, The Autry Museum, the J. Paul Getty Museum and several colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Consuelo's poetic illustrations of life reflect family and culture mixed with social perspective. She also writes “Day of the Dead” themed work, remembrances and celebrations of life, literary altars she builds as offerings to her dead.

(author retains copyright)