by Nicola Barca

I am covered in earth and stones, I do not breathe any more. They throw me into a pit. He finds me.
I run away, again, on the mountain. The whip rips, pierces the skin, cracks. I do not scream, I hate.
I swim in the fresh water of the river. A man is watching me through the reeds. We speak with our flesh and with our eyes. Is he different from the others?
I take off the rags I am wearing, I walk barefoot among mesquite trees and pine trees, I get out of the palm tree hut, I light the fire for the other girls.  
Emilio rips my body; he drags me in the dust clutching my hair; he buys me. The soldiers tear me off my mother’s arms.
I am riding with my thighs holding a wild heart tight, with the wind in my lungs. I run through the lawns, I invent games with the other young girls. I pick up flowers, I eat legume soups with a wooden spoon. My mother spoon-feeds me, plunges in the creek with me, in the meander where the water receives the sky. She holds me against her chest.
I suck on her nipples, I sleep. I breathe, cry, choke. They cut the cord that unites us. I slip out with the placenta, still fastened to her. My head deforms, I am squashed. She pushes, screams. I am floating in the womb, listening to the swish of the branches and the voices of women and animals. They are life’s transparency, a thickening plot of blood. Two hearts… one heart.
I didn’t want to witness, but horror broke the sky and that crack sucked me in. We were getting close, I do not know to what or to what place, but I was soon to be free. At last. But I was there, maybe to accompany them.
They too are dead. They have killed them too.
It was men who started the end. The sharks joined, and so did the rats.
The native man threw the harpoon, his mother had died as she gave birth to him.  
A buccaneer has sliced whales open and has pulled out foetuses, he sucked life from a woman’s breast. And what about you, John? How can someone kill what they love, you said with your eyes.
How can someone witness the massacre of what they love, I say.
Women give life and men take it off. In an endless chase.
In the place where I am going I will find them all, women and whales.