PRINT February 1984


The heart is the toughest part of the body.

Tenderness is in the hands.

—Carolyn Forché1

WITH THE FIRST WORLD CAME matter, then light, then limits. Human enlightenment could be described as the evolving ability to understand the nature and intricacies of limits.

The population of San Ygnacio, Texas, thirty miles south of Laredo, on the north bank of the Rio Grande, is small, less than a thousand, and at any rate small enough that its numbers have not been registered separately in the Chamber of Commerce files at Laredo, a city of 100,000, but are lumped together with those of Zapata, Texas, a town with a municipality fifteen miles farther south along the river. The population of the general environs of Zapata is listed as 9,600. About twenty-five miles further south is the small Texas town of Roma. Along the southern bank of this roughly seventy-five-mile flow is Mexico, more specifically

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