Rendering from “Historia Verdadera: Capítulo CLII”

And he [Cuauhtémoc] ordered a horn to be sounded
that when heard by his captains and his warriors
was a signal

that they must fight in a new way,
that they must fall upon us,
that they must overcome us
or die trying

the sound
echoed deep within our ears, the sound
resounded deep in our heads,

and when they heard it,
his squadrons and his companies knew,
then or never
the fury and the force they gathered
in order to defeat us, I tell you, it’s as if

as soon as they heard it, his troops and his companies became aware
the moment was now
such rage and such power they summoned against us

I’m telling you, even now

I am seeing it and am there in that trance,

it’s like right now I see it and am there, in that

now, I see it, and am again there

in that daze,

that war.

Copyright © 2022 by Chloe Garcia Roberts. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 12, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.