The U.S. government is militarizing our side of the Rio Grande because the Mexican cartels are warring for the right to sell dope on this side. The drug war is like the blind men and the elephant. Nobody understands that there are no sides. It’s one big elephant, and it’s stinking up the room. The blind men hold their noses, not talking about the elephant. For them it’s a sacred animal. Meanwhile, fronterizos on both sides of the border count the dead and remember how we used to live, going back and forth, back and forth.

Byrd is a poet and the co-founder of Cinco Puntos Press, in El Paso.

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