Issue 3 – Winter 2002 – P. F. Potvin

P. F. Potvin

Chilean Unmarked

Your pictures bear scene and I’m following. Outside the armed forces building, hundreds of 
mothers, signed with faces of the missing, sing for their children. There are no words in 
the weekly rally, just pitch and flux, toning a prayer the mothers hope will point fingers to 
the unmarked. But even through open windows, officials inside pose fastgripped to their 
chairs like killers under lock, neither hearing nor peeking the street. A windowwasher is 
the only seer. They wage him good change to keep everything looking clean.


The roadside shrine wasn’t the problem.  “The man couldn’t stop” said the cop, “rode 
no-handed through the changing blinker.”  But seconds before a leftturning auto pulped him 
headfirst into the pave, he gave the customary sign: index and middle of right hand tapping 
forehead, sternum, left shoulder then right. Gathers later watched a crew scrape his meat to 
the curb. They repeated his sign as Mary stood nearby.  “They’ve gone too far,” she frowned, 
one foot on the lashing serpent, shaking her head.



P. F. Potvin has has work appear in Boston Review, Passages North, 5AM, Black Warrior Review, South Dakota Review and other.