Journalism In Verse

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Chicatanas for Mourning, A Recipe

in Americas/World by

for Carmela Parral Santos, #NiUnaMenos

I. Ingredients:

• the strength of five generations of ancestors
• 2 dozen roasted chicatanas
• 2 roasted garlic cloves
• a love for all things Black
• two white candles
• a cup of dry Black beans
• 4 tree chilis
• quarter of a roasted onion
• 2 adobe bricks
• a commitment to Indigenous life, everywhere
• 8 roasted coastal chili peppers
• water OR tears
• salt (no salt if using tears)
• Carmela Parral’s photograph
• freshly picked mint

II. Cooking Instructions:

Open twitter and search #NiUnaMenos
& you will encounter one of the many
afterlives of colonialism in the Americas.

Most recently, Carmela Parral.

Reader, please search her name and print her photo.

On twitter, Mara Itahí tweets the news:
“Asesinaron ayer a mi amiga Carmela Parral,
Presidenta de Estancia Grande (municipio Afromexicano).”

In the afterlife of colonialism, one woman
must announce the murder of another sister.

Reader, please place the chicatanas,
garlic cloves, tree chilis, coastal chili peppers,
and slice of onion in a molcajete and grind them
together.

(Feel free to add a pinch
of water and salt, or tears.)

In this cooking process,
you must remember
the strength and power
of Black and Indigenous
life; you must commit to
liberation if you want this
recipe to work.

Reader, please channel
the strength of your
ancestors as you grind.

Now, take a step away
from the molcajete to
open your own twitter
and tweet her name:
Carmela Parral,
              Carmela Parral
(tweet until there
are no more characters
left in the wordcount).

Reader, please return
to grinding and add
water until you
have reached the ideal
consistency of your first
salsa de chicatanas.

Let the salsa cool in fridge.

While the salsa sits in
it’s aromas, pick up the
adobe bricks, place one
on its long side, and the second,
flat against the edge of the other.

Stand Carmela’s photo
on top of the flat adobe
brick and let it rest
against the other brick.

Arrange the white candles on
opposite ends of the bricks
and as you light them, say
her name: Carmela Parral,
              Carmela Parral.

Gather the Black beans
and offer them to
Carmela’s village
by placing them
around the adobe bricks;
search for a small teacup
and fill it with water,
offer the water to all the
trees the Mexican government
is willing to cut to construct
the Maya Train—which
Carmela opposed, the reason
she was murdered;
approach the fridge, scoop
a few tablespoons of the
salsa you just made onto
a small plate, and offer
the salsa to all the 
murdered women,
girls, and third
fourth & fifth
genders whose names
we do not know.

Finally, reach for
the mint, bring the tender
plant to your nose,
inhale, and commit to
continue experimenting
with life; commit to care.
Please place mint anywhere
on the adobe bricks.

Dear reader, take this recipe
and offer it to others—
encourage them to
experiment with life,
always.

 

________

Alan Pelaez Lopez is an Afro-Indigenous poet, collage, and adornment artist from the southern Pacific coast of Oaxaca, México.

________

Asesinada una alcaldesa de un municipio del Estado mexicano de Oaxaca
[El Pais]

#NiUnaMenos
[Twitter]

La violencia contra las mujeres no es normal ni tolerable.
[ONU Mexico]

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