Under the foreign rain, fragment XVIII
The wind that comes into the kitchen tears at the poster with the face of an actress from the silent movies, Mary Pickford maybe. She is beautiful. Her gentle eyes shine delicately. With her mouth, they shape the most tender smile, a silent half-smile.
by Juan Gelman
We too, here, are actors from the silent movies. Our eyes shine gently. For us, like kids, tenderness comes smudged in dry blood. A great silence surrounds us.
The audiences would rather have talking films. Who made this movie? On this side of the screen, our side, you hear the dead little by little letting go of life like a faint rustle in a dream. In prisons people sizzle, the tortured scream. Under thundering military boots injustice roars from its hell. On the other side, apparently they just see ghosts drift back and forth with no piano to announce them.
I love you, Mary Pickford. I know now you love me too. The wind comes in and twists and tears our paper loves.
Translation: Peter Boyle