I know you have spent many sleepless nights wondering where I am. Are the kids asking for me? Or have they given up on having a papá? It has been two weeks since you and I snuggled together in our warm bed. It seems so far away now, as I try to sleep on the rocky ground, tucked between two boulders. I hope the cartel does not find me here.
I made a big mistake and used the money I got from selling their drugs to pay our rent. Oh, Manuela, I was only thinking of you when I did it. Now they are after me, and won’t stop until I am dead. Did you see the body hanging from the billboard on the road near our village? It was a sign for me. I must pay up or die.
“Plata o plomo.” My choice is silver or lead.
I have nothing to give them but my disgust. I have nothing to give you but my love.
Never forget me. Tell Donna and Paula I tried very hard to take care of them. I will always love them and you from heaven and beyond. Look for me in the stars and dream of me when the moon is full. I will be watching out for you even in death.Your husband, José.
Photo by Nancy-Clark