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Notes on a Zombie Cataclysm

(Opening Song)
Hey, sweetheart, don’t go
picnicking in the cemetery:
don’t go
drinking in the cemetery:
don’t go doing drugs in the cemetery:
don’t dress and make up like a Goth
tonight.
 
Because things
are turning weird: because they found
just the arm
while the rest of the body remains a mystery;
because they found
just the ear 
of another mystery
and teeth from the devil knows whose smile;
 
because things are turning hardcore:
hey, honey, listen
to this idiot ditty: don’t go
dancing in the cemetery:
don’t go dancing
 
in the cemetery: don’t go
dancing in the cemetery: stay here with me
tonight.
 
*
 
A hand emerging from a grave
 
the hand of a corpse that in the end proves to be undead
or not quite dead: merely putrified:
the hand of a zombie:
 
the hand that emerges at the end of the film
to proclaim that the end is not the end:
there’s going to be a second episode
 
the hand 
that sprouted from the earth
like a monstrous flower
from a pit hidden away in the north of Mexico.
 
But nobody noticed the hand
and if anyone did they weren’t telling
and if they did tell nobody believed them
and if anyone did believe them
 
they believed them too late:
 
there are now forty thousand zombies laying waste to Mexico
according to official statistics.
 
A  hand twitching like laughter off:
vengeance will be terrible!
 
1
Zombies: cannibal corpses.
 
2
Zombies: the insomniac dead.
 
. . . 
 
5
Zombies: a new opportunity
for the government
to demonstrate its uselessness and corruption.
 
6
Zombies: a new opportunity
for society to demonstrate
its complicity and corruption.
 
7
Zombies: the decay of the social fabric personified.
 
8
Zombies:
the post-mortem persistence of hunger and poverty
advancing upon you.
 
*
 
They say
the zombies
are a ploy of drug traffickers
to terrorize the government. They say
zombies are a government ploy to terrorize
 
the population. They say the zombies are a ploy
of the population to terrorize the drug traffickers. They say
zombies are a government ploy
to terrorize the government. They say
the zombies are a ploy
of the drug trafficker
 
to
terrorize
the population. They say that
zombies are a ploy of drug traffickers to
terrorize the drug trafficker. They say the zombies are a ploy
of the population to terrorize the government. And you, what do you have to say about zombies? 
 
Wise up: listen to Radio Mictlán:
to their live
transmission of
 
the insurrection of the dead.
 
*
 
1
The authorities call on the people
to remain calm.
 
2
The authorities call on the people
to stay in their homes.
 
3
The authorities insist they are taking
appropriate steps
to control the plague of zombies.
 
4
It is 4 am: light escapes from windows
televisions and computers of every Mexican
remain lit like lanterns
devotional lamps that are a sleepless prayer
for the night of the zombies to end.
 
5
Citizen men and women: if you suspect
that a neighbor, friend or family member has caught
the zombie contagion
report them at once on any of the emergency phone lines:
 
Mexico requires your cooperation.
 
6
Zombies on the streets
Zombies in the offices.
Zombies in the shopping mall.
Zombies on the subway.
Zombies in the parks.
Zombies on the roof terraces.
Zombies in the basement flat.
 
7
Important information:
Hawaiian dance classes have been suspended
Until further notice.
 
8
Strip-tease leprosy-style: surprise—there’s nothing there!
No flesh, blood, innards, bones: nothing.
 
*
 
1
“We are all zombies”: emblazoned
On T-shirts, graffiti, stencils, placards.
 
2
For you, for I, for we
may turn into zombies
defend the zombies and defend your future. 
 
© Luis Felipe Fabre. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2012 by Amanda Hopkinson. All rights reserved.