Teusaquillo, 1989

Eleven bombs had gone off the previous night,
most of them in this neighborhood, which is called
Teusaquillo, and it is one of the pleasantest in Bogotá.
—Alma Guillermoprieto

Flowering sietecueros trees:
How easily we married ourselves
to the idea of that bruised light
outside the window,
capillary
fibers of the linen,
stained wood of the door frame.
Deepening hallway.
Beyond
the stucco portal,
crushed purple.

At night, tinnitus
we thought,
the ringing after an explosion,
a frenzied inner ear axle squeal,
until I placed my stethoscope's bell
on the purpled ceiling:

Bats at roost
under the terracotta tiles,
each squeak a vector between mountains,
sicarios ricocheting through the dark.

"If you press your skull between the pillows,
it's like a lullaby."

At dawn our windows
imploded from the street.
Before the glaziers knocked, a breeze:
Blood-sweet draft of begonias
rising again from the iron grillwork
of our little yard.

Maurice  Kilwein Guevara, "Teusaquillo, 1989" from Poema. Copyright © 2009 by Maurice  Kilwein Guevara.  Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.
Source: Poema (University of Arizona Press, 2009)
More Poems by Maurice Kilwein Guevara