Little Lead Soldiers
translated by Tess O’Dwyer
My tanks were filled with gasoline and wars. I was a lead soldier. I marched
against the smoke of the city. There were difficult moments and there were,
Hello! How are you? They were all worth the same. I had two pennies. I
could enter the city. But they closed the doors on me. I closed my soul on
them. They didn’t know what had happened. Did my soul pass by here?
Body, I said to you, how are you? I have been a lead soldier. The voice that
said it was not what it said. I almost swear by the road. But the segment,
the march loaded with clay, eyes of asphalt, hands of lime, legs of drill,
navels of cement, resounded, resounded, resounded—the anvils of the
hammer against the beams of the body—drilling, drilling, drilling me.
Marching in time, the wall and the latch, the heart, my soul, the precipice of
the trucks. And everything was black, black, black, white—like the asphalt.
And the world closed its doors—anvils and hammers against the sleeping
men—the doors of the heart, cities everywhere and little lead soldiers.
Giannina Braschi, Libro de payasos y bufones, El imperio de los sueños, 1988. Translation Tess O’Dwyer, Empire of Dreams, 1994.