Armando Rafael Basulto

Everyday in the Border Towns

The Archbishop of Toledo never woke up that morning
so the peasants that had waited six days for the fish
entered the dungeons and released their compatriots.
Only the one they called The Snail was left behind
because of an affection he’d developed for a life size
statue of Saint Adriana, or Our Lady of the Trough,
which was missing an arm and had a coat hanger in its place.

Two thousand, seven hundred and forty-three guitars
lined the road that led to the village where Mercedes
was born. One guitar every three feet on the north side
of the snaking path, all the way to the horizon. The guitar that
marked the exact halfway point between where one started
the journey and the small village looked identical to all the
rest. It went out of tune one summer and the village where
Mercedes was born burned to the ground leaving nothing but the
echo of an E minor chord resounding in the valley.

It is rumored that during the missing years of his biography,
Christ once ate at Pedro’s Fish Grotto. He strolled in one Tuesday
and ordered one of everything on the menu and a glass of water.
No one recognized him then except Encarnacion, the little orphan
girl who two weeks later gave birth to the first bearded baby in
the village.