December 12, 2006



Today after a military funeral, amidst the red,
blue, and ochre houses of the poor, helmets
of the top brass, when tears and laughter
rise above the white-capped Andes,
the last thing I saw in the rear view mirror
as my father clutched his chest
and drove me to the airport, fearing I would become
one of the desaparecidos, one of the nameless
statistics of the stadiums and oceans
or the visible ones, dragged around the square
of our town like garbage on the streets,
what was once General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte
is to become one with the air,
by fires that consume the body, but not the soul—
the gold in his teeth and his many medals,
curled into pellets rendered worthless by the heat,
his ashes scattered along the coast and lakes,
into the dust around the feet of the women
dancing the cueca, into the wine of the Malpo,
bread of Temuco, and I will die a second death.


Anonymous said...

Timely, and so magnificent! You know, I think I'm beginning to know your vocal cords, the timbre of your literary voice, the hows of your message to your readers. I love.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Rethabile, thank you. I know we both struggle in our own ways with the word, so this means a lot to me.


Stephen A. Bess said...

This was a very nice piece. I need to read more about the life of this man. Thanks~