After Joshua Clover
First it was one checkpoint & then it was another checkpoint. On the highway between D.F. & Puebla two Federales boarded the bus and ordered the women off. We tend to think not me, or just me. One wore an assault rifle across his back, another pointed a video camera at our faces. At these moments, we tend to think massacre, as in no longer a number, or biopower, as in Foucault’s botched orgy visions. The one with the assault rifle said quite los lentes, and I was on my knees as in prayer, the compliance position, pure submission. The Federales laughed, and I was just another silly woman with dusty knees removing her expensive sunglasses at a checkpoint south of a Volkswagen factory where Mexicans manufacture German cars, as in high performance engines; speed management. Not bullets, but the red record button, the mouth effaced by the camera saying rubia, linda, ojos verdes. To my left, a covered well for animals. The assumption is that the missing are dead or in safe houses. The assumption as slippage of language. To my right, the bus where V watched me watching the camera pan in on my face. Blue curtains, the smell of animals and cooking oil. We were, by this time, already leaving, as in all of this was no longer our problem—checkpoints, surveillance, narcoterrorism, as in the D.E.A. doctrine; species management. Footage of Rodney King, Katrina, Los Angeles, New Orleans, the National Guard. We call it a lifestyle decision, these mornings spent reading El Norte on our iPads, studying the photos of headless bodies hanging from bridges. Biopower— a covered well for animals. The squinting and trying not to piss oneself. The not me of it, which is the final take.