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About home

Three sisters grew up in my house: Camila, Sofía and me.
In my house there were always four rooms:
One for each one, and another for my mom and Rubén.
(And one for Cristina, who is almost never counted).

Today there are only two sunflowers in one of the rooms.
Two sunflowers, “one for each one”.
One is missing because one is missing.

In that room the missing sister grew up:
In the room with the caved-in wall, the door that doesn't close,
of leather stains.

I used to think there was no way to get his screams out of it.
But in that room the sun enters more
and when there were only two of us left I moved.

I moved my bed with its white spread,
I left my books, I hung up a wind chime
and behind the broken door I put a dream catcher.

In it, while basking in the sun,
I felt the horror that my sister experienced
when only cigarette smoke came from my window.

And I knew, with the days, that her shame and guilt
were the same as mine.
We were afraid. And the two of us, together, we grew.
(The third was taking root.)

My house always had porcelains,
paintings of virgins who seemed bewitched,
rumors of screaming girls on the stairs.

Today this room has two paintings with dogs
and a Mayan mask that I brought from Guatemala.
The two sunflowers bask in the sun while I look at them.

The walls of my sister's room
which is also my room now
remind me

that we are still alive

and that spring can only come on time.


in this house everything was white

four white walls
fenced off any room
of this indivisible space,
fully uniform

The ceiling and the floor
were also white
and the doors of the white of the doors:
brown wood

there was only religious art;
angels, virgins and christs
decorated the walls;

all the centerpieces were
prudent, collectible, fragile

the only noise allowed after nine
was silence

that monastic landscape
intrusive and obligatory
didn't seem violent to me.

when my hands
full of paint
walk around the house
at all hours of the day

lifting up
the known fear
to breathe too loud

I have to remember
than that scenario
hermetic, ascetic
I don't have to have it anymore


In this house
(which house?)
my mom
(and who?
I could forget his name
and invent a house
in which I lived another childhood)

In this house

there were always orchids.

They used to say:
they bring the room back to life
(The house was dark)

And when their initial flowers fell
—the ones they brought from the nursery—
they cut the stem at the second knot
and put them outside
between the wall and the car.

My mom
visited them every day
and beg them to bloom again.

every day
made the space
between the wall and the car

From the window he yelled at them:
Are you shocked or what!

In this house

there were always orchids without flowers
and a decorative mashing stone
next to the entrance door.


did what he did
and to name
what he did
there are several words.

Tongue out!

Mornings of anguish
screams and blows
Military regime.


And for not using
Those words
I stayed with
and tears and
tears and

oceans of tears
not cried

oceans of tears
not cried
on time.

Let's hope he doesn't go away
Let's hope he doesn't go away
Let's hope he doesn't go away
Anything but
the pain of him leaving.

everything but the pain
of my mom leaving
for him
to look after him
to ask him for forgiveness.

You are nobody without me!
I can kill you
and keep the house!

Years and years of suffering

Years and years
that keep counting

How many more will be needed?


in the restless nights
to be able to talk to someone
trying not to make noise
to entrench my heart
I saw the veins of the boards of my bed
like clouds

this one looks like
A horse

this one like
someone with a headache

My mom
who never knocked on the door
opened, looked
and asked:

Where is Mariana?
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