The Former Slaughterhouse at Villa Epecuen

by Keith Dunlap

Among a stand of long dead trees
bleached white by the intense salinity
of flood waters that consumed the town,
a road built in the seventies still winds around
the former slaughterhouse at Villa Epecuen.
For twentyfive years, local fish and eels have passed
through windows filled with shadow now instead of glass
and around the abandoned art deco tower
and the enormous block letters spelling “Matadero.”
But now the scabrous edifice sits alone;
its plaster surfaces peeling and its facade collapsed,
like a skindiseased bather come to take the cure,
who, waiting by the roadside, isn’t sure
whether she has missed the last bus back to Carhué.