In the district of Palermo, Buenos Aires
I could feel European walking through cobbled stone streets
enjoying a crisp red wine with a spread of cold cuts
relishing on empanadas of red minced beef,
with shiny yolk tops and scorched up bottoms.
But could I enjoy my trip like the others?
Walking around in cargo shorts and fanny packs
taking selfies by the obelisk
loosing myself in the embers of the asado
while letting the sorrowful sounds of the tango
erase a dirty war fought clean.
The shanty towns of burgundy bricks and metal sheet roofs,
awaken memoires of Plaza Mayo.
Militant students and their renegade teachers on strike
only to be swept up at night
detained, bruised up and dumped live
into the same sea that I splashed around in.
To be in South America,
drinking Fernet with fizzy coke
while sparking up flimsily rolled joints.
Only to be reminded of Savannah, Georgia
where generations of Argentine killers
were trained to beat down their own people
through doctrines of freedom and torture.
The pleasures and privileges of travel with a blue passport
quickly dissolved by the infamy of Operación Cóndor.
Roman Jimenez a writer and educator who resides in Seattle, WA. I teach language arts and I run a summer youth poetry program. He writes poetry that focuses on immigration, culture and travel. He is interested in exploring locations and how they connect to memories. His poems are published in Rigorous Magazine and the Anti-Languorous Project.