There is a Place


There's a place beneath this sky,
a soft and silent nest
with paths that invite us to launch our dreams.
A place beneath this selfsame sun
whose warmth doesn't torment, but embraces,
because the hands and the sun of its uncomplicated people
irradiate in the same way.
A place beneath this same moon,
that in each darkening
cloaks itself in warm tears
like a girlfriend in the night who finds
the lightest blanket with which to cover herself.

There is a place, and a people,
over this hurt earth,
where the value of the word is still known
as well as the value of silence.

There is a place beneath this wounded sky
over this hurt earth,
a silent and tender corner,
where we may give the earth a caress,
a gesture that makes us always remember
that it's time,

Time to learn to look ourselves in the eyes
to take ourselves by the hand.
Time to weave a silence
that hushes the absurd drudgery of not living.
Time so that our streets
come back warm and enveloping
like that long-awaited embrace ...
Time for building smiles in front of the trees,
although they look at us oddly,
because we're also here in time to embrace the trees.

Y still we're on time
to recover ourselves in time.


On time?
Today, far from your silent corners,
far from you, Tarija.
Tarija of the flowering plum-n tree
that embraces and cradles.
Far from you, the newspaper
brings me a painful premonition:
a ferocious knife, spitting cables and asphalt
will tear up earth, woods, and neighborhoods,
from the unknown Iquique

It will come to your bird's chest,
and draining the blood from your silences
it come all the way to my land.

Perhaps, then, in some small grain of sand

Dragged by this asphalt
Some dream will be found, stiff with cold,
That was torn from your plaza.

And from there, to the distant Mba'e Vera Guasu,
The dream will come, weeping for the time
When the moon draped nostalgia
Over the trees.

Don't let them hurt you, Tarija.
Don't let them drag your soul-words, your warmth, your moon.

Don't let them tear open the belly where your dreams live,
Because they -- those tramplers of dreams --
Will only pull you in front of the trembling earth
To bury you beneath tons of cement,
Asphalt, horns, lights, fashion, strident noises.


Don't let it happen, Tarija.
Don't let anyone let it happen.
Because here over the earth
Is a place where every night
Your moon kisses the forehead of the common people.
Where, embraced by the same dream,
Everyone goes on sleeping slowly
With the birds and the trees.

Because there is a place over the earth
Where time is measured in ramekins of smiles and silence.

There is a place over the earth
Where the last traces of a simple earth still exist
Bathed in plenitude.

Over the wounded earth,
You're still standing, Tarija.