“I Want a Good Death,” “So, I Want to Start a Concentration Camp” and “The Flag, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Saint Rita”

I want a good death

I Want a Good Death

It is a funny thing to turn thirty-four

It takes me no more than ten minutes

Of staring at yellowing maple leaves

To restore the thought that even my maple trees will die

And then, it hits me:

I want a death with all of the proper documentation

It is true, even if it may not be the case in certain parts of

Pakistan and India

That a certificate of birth should coincide with one of death

That is the state of affairs

Of life and death in the State

So, I Want to Start a Concentration Camp

Every and any concentration camp is possible, if you work hard enough.

The British had their camps for the Boers.

The Americans had their own for the Sioux, the Iroquois, the Cherokee,

The Choctaw, etc. in the 19th century (keep an eye on the Americans,

it’s not the only time they will have rounded people up).

The Turks did it to the Armenians.

The Soviets had their labor camps, as well.

Italy, under Mussolini, had its own camps in Libya.

The Croats did it to the Bosnian Muslims,

And the Bosnian Muslims did it to the Serbs,

And the Serbs did it to the Croats.

So, how would I start a concentration camp?

Would I do it like the Nazis? Or, how about I do it like the Americans did it with

the Japanese? Or how the Chinese are doing it with its Muslim population right


So, would I focus on ethnicity or race? Religion? Immigration status? (Like the

camps you can find in the desert near McAllen, Texas, about thirty miles away

from the Northcross Shopping Mall). Or, how about political ideology? Sexuality?

(Sort of like the street sweeps of gay men that occurred in revolutionary Cuba

under Castro)

Or, maybe I could focus on something totally different this time around...

Because every and any concentration camp is possible, if you work hard enough.

The Flag, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Saint Rita

I've seen the Flag on the bags of rice and beans we get as aid

I laugh because it shares two of the colors on my flag

But, it never occurred to us to add red for the blood that was shed

Who knows?

(The Americans really care about the shedding of their blood)

They have an agency that, for starters, is bent on separating

children from parents, and, if you let them, body from land

and, if they can, soul from body

And, the U.S. border doesn't end in Nogales for that agency

It goes a few thousand miles further south

So much that I can feel the radiation of their protestant laws

While cashing a remittance in Santa Barbara (not that Santa Barbara)

What they don't know is that I know a novena

To Saint Rita

To tear all of that down

About the Author

Francisco Lopez

Francisco Lopez started writing about 3 years ago. Most of his writing is about immigration, human rights, and "politics." He was first published by the Southern Humanities Review in 2016.