Three squads in an interrogation.
Silence on the lips
an explosion in the chest.
The forests crackled with leaves stripped in flame
In the roaring night we were now twenty-two.
Like a steel blade
we brandished our voices.
scourged the jungle in a single tremor;
and the savage beast
roared in pain.
The night bled
like the vibrant blade of a sharp dagger
and we were in the smoke of fantastic fires
the terrifying vision of an infernal mind.
regular pulsations of gunfire
and like knife wounds
the shouts of more brave ones fallen.
Twenty-seven of us
beneath the indifference of the constellations
and in the purple radiance of the new dawn
only five explosions were heard.
~ RaÃºl Otero Reiche, trans. from Spanish by Jessica Sequeira
RaÃºl Otero ReicheÂ is the author ofÂ â€˜poemas de sangre y lejanÃaâ€™Â and a book of poems for children.Â
Jessica SequeiraÂ is a writer and translator living in BuenosÂ Aires.Â