Poem by M. Rivas: The Anti-Sepulcher El antisepulcro

March 13, 2015
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Five inhabitants of Haza (Burgos) were detained and assassinated in August 1936, among them the mayor of the town. The mayor’s daughter with her two sons after the 2008 exhumation of the victims’ remains. Photo Clemente Bernad.

Five inhabitants of Haza (Burgos) were detained and assassinated in August 1936, among them the mayor of the town. The mayor’s daughter with her two sons after the 2008 exhumation of the victims’ remains. Photo Clemente Bernad.

The Anti-Sepulcher

By Manuel Rivas

To Clemente Bernad

It is often said: the land has eaten them.

But I who am the land,

a piece of the land,

meters of land,

land inside me,

what I feel is their hunger,

their teeth seeking out my nipples,

my roots,

pulp of time,

the grub of rotting hours,

smoked warp of low clouds,

lounging of the twilight,

the bitter ferment of the shadows

in the cuticles,

flecks of the moon

in the samara of gazes.

I have felt

perhaps like no one else,

this undone dead hour,

these horrifying dead,

with the mere chatter of bullets,

hugging me,

with the last word

in mouth,

that poaceae,

that blackberry bush,

that stalk of elderberry.

I have cared for their steps,

the buttons,

their buckles,

their combs,

their pencil stubs.

Little that they had,

the trousseau of cheap miscellany.

I was not prepared for this.

Nor were they.

They fell into me

against their will.

But I am not a tomb.

I have raised my people

below ground.

Our sepulchral country sepulcher,

where the dead

boast of being forgotten.

[Versión en castellano]

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