Fragments from Ernesto and Leti

by Isaiah Rubio

"caves" by Janessa Lewis
“caves” by Janessa Lewis
He rode The Beast. She walked miles.
On The Beast, he said, I saw a man fall off
to the tracks. Just gone. She set off 

from a small village in Jalisco at 15, said, 
I was the only girl there. All the other people
were men. But there was one older gentleman.
He took care of me and made sure 
I was protected. Once, he got caught

and was sent back to his village in Oaxaca.
He said he’d try it one more time.
He held onto that Beast 
until he abandoned it. In Reedley, 

they found work in those endless fields. 
He was already in a relationship
when we met, she said, but they eventually separated. 
30 years later, with three sons, she reflects:

When we got close to the border, 
we told each other ‘Good-byes’ and ‘good lucks.’ 
I never saw the older gentleman again. At a stop 

and inspection, he hid in a shipping container:
I saw the officer with his flashlight 
looking around. I swear to God, he flashed his light 
on me and he saw me, eye to eye,
but he kept looking until he left. In that silence,
he waited until the Beast roared and moved again. 


Isaiah Rubio is studying poetry in the MFA program at Brigham Young University.

(Art) Janessa Lewis was born in 1998 and is from Springville, Utah. While receiving her BFA from Brigham Young University, Lewis has been in several group exhibitions. She makes work that revolves around the human experience with land and how the earth is transforming. The earth is the common thread that weaves between nations, cultures, and communities, tying individuals together through shared experience and a foundation of empathy. Through visual symbols and imagery often seen in land, she communicates ideas around the themes of memory and place, pain and growth, and our relationships with humans and deity. Lewis gravitates toward painting, drawing, and printmaking techniques.