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by Victoria Ramírez Translated by Simón López Trujillo

half of those in the burn center have burnt themselves by choice with alcohol or gasoline
they’ve sparked

from the window facing portugal street you can see the magnolia
the bandages glowing
as salt lamps therein

I wonder where the other half
of the burnt people goes
if they mention the origin of fire
if those once beautiful women
touch their faces and remember their husbands or if they sit around a bonfire
cuddled as a volcanic tribe
if that relief of survival suits them
and the fire has sutured their seams
if they go as damaged saints
to be greeted into heaven

if we could all reverse ourselves make our cracks visible
water would run through us our crevices blocking our lies

so if they tell me that half
of those in the burn center
are a bonzo percentage
I can look at their bruises
wish to feel them as it’s supposed to feel irritate as I am supposed to

see the magnolia, smoke cigarettes ends collect forgotten lighters at home
as trophies or millenary statues
pay a modest homage on every spark altars as offrends hanging from the walls sadly hear the radio announcements kiss boys missing other boys

all this a tender relief because so is every relief

look out the window and see magnolia
know that is season for magnolia
that there is justice in a flower coming out from a tree that trees give seeds and flowers at the same time thinking of all this in the burnt unit
that pale sadness as quartz
splinters, stalactites on my spine
and half of those willingly burnt