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‘The Ghosts of the Battlefield’ and other poems by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

By: Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

The Ghosts of the Battlefield

The ghosts of the battlefield
wear their uniforms and their
bracelets, walk with their bullet
riddled bodies. A dog can sense

a spirit or two and barks and barks
his lungs out. The ghosts do not
like being barked at or walking
around with wounds that do not heal.
They have a new mission.

Death was always a possibility.
Grief was a certainty. Their only
desire is to leave the battlefield.
They have a sinking feeling.
The ghosts hope to leave here.

For them the war never ends.
They are invisible transients
without a future. Their mission
is to relocate from the battlefield,
to disperse from these death fields.

Every ghost is a wanderer, facing
a long tenure in this battlefield.
Who is to save them from this place?
Who is to give them another chance?


Waking Up Nude

Out of touch
with reality,
waking up
angry, waking
up nude
like the day
he was born.

He goes off
his medication
to see if
he can make
new voices
in his head.
The last ones

sent him out
to the streets and
told him to
to chase cars
and mailmen
and to eat
dog food.

Sitting up
nude in traffic,
he said these
new voices
are freaky
and convinced
him to strip.


Kind Hours

The hours are kind,
calm like a breeze,
the trees’ leaves bend
and move slightly.
The clouds like foam
or shaving cream
are long and grey.
The birds sing and
fly in the wind.
I hear them and
want to be like
them. I sing and
pass the time in
my room. The hours
have been too kind.


Golden Blur

It speeds by
like an unquiet comet
in the light of day,
a golden blur.

It drives past
the church, the schoolyard,
the green, the red, and
the yellow lights.

It’s Sunday
and it speeds on through,
a menace to

This is not going
to end well.


The River Maiden

I found her by the river,
a distraught maiden,
looking for a husband
she did not kill last night.

She went to the river to
confess, but she was out
of words. She looked up
at the skies’ every corner.

In the river up to her breasts
when she suddenly
submerged her entire body
and did not come up for air.
I dove in to rescue her,
but she dragged me down too.

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