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Cristalina Parra, translated by ​Julián David Bañuelos


When you come a up against horror, reason sleazes
up-only the unconscious and affect remain. There’s no
way you can think. You can plan things a thousand times
over, you can be well prepared, but when it comes to the
crunch, everything vanishes and you are put to the test, on

the fringes of the raw unconscious

i buried my grandfather
we buried him together
hand in hand
tears and tragos

i excavated soil from his garden
tossed it about the coffin
felt the itch for rage
was met by more sorrow and nostalgia

the men made the grave
by night, no cloud in sight
the moon ablaze like a warm mantel
on a cold night

the men made the grave
deep enough for 103
deep, for all your books and belongings
deep, for all the pain and uncertainty
deep, for all the hands
casting earth tomorrow morning

unknown hands
allies, enemies
of honey and blackberries

i took your cold still
hand, soft and wrinkled
waited for your sister to take it
a full body
with more strength
than any word

we drank wine till the morning

played the guitar
hummed your favorite songs
while the kids screamed and laughed
a priest, a Haitian and a few poor souls
in a woven history
like the shroud over your coffin

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