[OPE-L:5328] Che's Bones

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Mon, 7 Jul 1997 16:40:02 -0700 (PDT)

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A report on the nightly news from Bolivia:
a team of researchers -- graverobbers? --
believes they have discovered
the remains of Che Guevara.

Buried in the mud. Bleached white.
Held before the TV camera.
They'll check his dental records,
they report, as his skull
is raised for view.

I am reminded of Rosa and Karl.
What happened to their bones
after being photographed?

I am reminded also of the
Communards of Paris.
James Connolly. Joe Hill.
The Bolsheviks.
The gas chambers at Auschwitz.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Victor Jara. Nuns in El Salvador.
Mothers of the "dissappeared"
in Argentina. Mumia Abu Jumal
(will he be next?).
And many others.

Too many others --
a river of blood.
A legacy for the living.

What will happen to Che's bones?
Will they be returned to Havana?
Will they be put on display at the
Metropolitan Museum of Art?

Will all his enemies now
deliver eulogies?
Will Clinton "feel the pain"?
Will there be celebrations in Miami?
Fireworks perhaps?

And what of Che's Cuba?
Will his portraits eventually come down?
Will they be replaced by billboards for
Coca-Cola, McDonalds, IBM?

What will they say in Bolivia?
Will workers and peasants gather together
in small groups saying prayers?
Will his murderers ever be brought to justice?

Will Spike Lee make a film on Che?
Will, like "X", "Che" become a commodity
emblazoned on T-shirts and hats?

Unearthed -- what will his
legacy be for the living?