Dos poemas

Dos poemas

José Emilio Pacheco

Translation by David Shook

The Hour of the Children

The children traffic in a new species of rats,
Ringed like lobsters and colored magenta and sky blue.
Strange flavor at first
But since hunger doesn’t lie
We grow used to baking them.

Since you are what you eat
In less than a year
We become like them.
First their panicked little eyes, fur and tail.
Then, quickly, teeth like drill bits,
Claws like a bone saw.
(Is it necessary to say that in this regard
They didn’t have to teach us much?)

Now the children who lived off the rats are men.
They operate like hit men contracted by an invisible power
And little by little but night after night
They eliminate us with gunshots.


At twenty they told me: “You must
Sacrifice yourself for Tomorrow”.

And we offered life up on the altar
Of the god that never arrives.

At the end of things I would like to find myself
With my old teachers from that time.

They would have to tell me if
All the present’s horror truly was Tomorrow.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *