December is mango season, when sayaca tanagers peck holes and holes and holes.
They flock to trees with northern exposure and gorge on the earliest ripened fruits, which hang motionless like sunkissed teardrops not quite sad enough to fall.
One by one, however, eventually they drop—their fleshy, yellow bodies rolling on the ground, pocked and oozing, like MRSA pouring through a bulging wound.
When they bring in the Brazilians who tried to hijack our shipment across the Paraná, I swallow hard to bury the malaise. It’s not the killing that gets me: a few teenage PCC punks from São Paulo, me valen verga. I fill them up with bullets all the same.
It’s just—the holes.
Standing in the sun on the west bank of the river, my stomach turns. It’s the punctured skin. It’s the cavities wide enough to put a finger through, peppered into four blanquito bodies, their clustered hollows leaking red.
It’s the holes and holes and holes.
So I simply imagine that these men are mangoes, and I tell myself that I’m a bird.
I’m just a bird—bits of grey with blue—making a mess under the tree.
Benjamin Faro is a writer living in Asunción, Paraguay. Visit his work: www.benjaminfaro.com
Featured Artwork: Trypophobia Mixed Media Megan Leppla loves helping other people make things. Leppla has been teaching since 2008, and drawing since forever.