Where the Bodies Are

‘I want you to repent; I want you to tell us where the bodies are.’ Ariel Dorfman, asked what he would like to say to the newly arrested Pinochet


In the Atacama desert

it rains   the first rain in a hundred years

and seeds

half-shrivelled in their resignation

force themselves open

stare at the deep drugged sky with unknown flowers.


In the Andes

transported tenderly in the beaks of condors


in Temuco, by the silent railway line

in the shrouds of rain

in Tierra del Fuego, sheltering underneath

the restless ice


turning to coral in the accepting ocean

having been dropped living from helicopters


having been buried

in heaps like discarded corncobs, having been

young   fierce   with gentle arms

wrapped round each other in sleep, with chanting voices,


once tortured, now the bodies

having been spirit and passion, are assembling

their flowing black hair, their bones, are pushing up

through the crust of the planet

waiting for you to speak.