Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


by Jon Wesick

The snapshots are unremarkable
save for clothing thirty years out of date.
Some black and white, others color.
These are the victims of the dirty war. The generals,
now ghostly TV images, their faces gray as intestines,
ordered deaths by the thousands. Ordinary people
hustled into Ford Falcons, tortured. Their bodies
tossed from DC-3s into the Atlantic.

But it’s not that simple. Photos of Lenin, Castro,
and Che Guevara hang on the bookstore’s walls.
I buy a Mothers-of-the-Disappeared T-shirt for my mom
and pray it doesn’t’ become a prophecy in Bush’s America.
Outside pounding drums. Marchers with red flags.
Do ghosts of Ford Falcons still cruise these streets?

We wait on the sidewalk, while tens of thousands pass.
“Muchos gentes,” a shop owner says. I nod.
The drums – boom, ba boom, ba boom. Girls
selling socialist newspapers. Marchers
with banners wide as the Avenida de Mayo.
Lauren takes out her camera. The flash!
Rows of men with clubs bring up the rear,
their faces disguised with bandanas or keffiyehs.

We cross to Café Tortoni. Fine china. Cloth napkins.
Waiters in tuxedos. Photos of celebrities on mahogany walls.
I drop a submarine-shaped chocolate in my cup of hot milk.
Lauren sips coffee and says, “This is the best night of my life.”

Jon Wesick has a Ph.D. in physics, has practiced Buddhism for over twenty years, and has published over a hundred poems in small press journals such as American Tanka, Anthology Magazine, The Blind Man’s Rainbow, Edgz, The Kaleidoscope Review, Limestone Circle, The Magee Park Anthology, The Publication, Pudding, Sacred Journey, San Diego Writer’s Monthly, Slipstream, Tidepools, Vortex of the Macabre, Zillah, and others. His chapbooks have won honorable mentions twice in the San Diego Book Awards. Recently in Argentina, Jon and his girlfriend went to the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo Bookstore. The Madres are the mothers who protested Argentina's dirty war by holding their disappeared childrens' pictures in the Plaza de Mayo.