Claudia Rojas



The corpse probes the humidity

Thrown in a unknown place

From an araucaria the night in the form of a bird

None of us were there or were arrested

The bullet inside froths with the rivers’ tread

Its figure is lost in the fog

Like a shadow that peeks through the ice

The first to discover it was our look-out

The voice and solely the voice of its crackle

The boat fenced in the way neighborhoods have been fenced

And there was nothing left than a country or a poor theatre

The curtain closed by those who betrayed hunger

To stop with the graveness of things

Language falls short when speaking of misery

And I ask you Jeanne if at any time you’ve known

Of a sadder story than ours

If you’ve ever known a generation more comfortable

In ignorance from which was never satisfied with anything

In the end the poets wondered

If this is the adequate tone of things

In the ocean the seaweed swings slowly

And colorless fish flounder in lack of destination

Above the waves tremble tumbling

Poetry is useless before the power of a departed

Who clamors to speak its native tongue

To climb the mountain from which it saw the frothing of the sea

Dressing the kid under the rain headed for school

The top student in the worst of employments possible

And the bullet emerges from the body and strikes another

While a priest stands among men

Go fuck yourself if you can’t listen

He yells at them like an earthquake roving underground

It was in Santiago the very city where I worked as a teacher

That bullet could have been mine yours or a student’s

Or of a last animal specimen that falls slowly

With all its skin and broken snout

Its house searched as the dew advances.





Translated by Claudia Rojas

“III” first appeared in the collection Tordo (Editorial Cuneta, 2014).


 You can read and listen to the poem in the original Spanish here.