Apolitical Intellectuals


One day
the apolitical intellectuals of my country
will be interrogated
by the simplest of our people.

They will be asked
what they did
when their nation died out slowly,
like a sweet fire
small and alone.

No one will ask them about their suits,
their long siestas after lunch,
nor about their sterile combat against nothing
or their metaphysical manner of arriving at wealth.

They won’t be interrogated on Greek mythology,
nor about the self-loathing they felt
when someone within them
died a cowardly death.

They’ll be asked nothing about their absurd
nurtured in the shadow
of a complete lie.

On that day
the simple men will come.

Those who never fit in the books and poems
of the apolitical intellectuals,
but came every day
to deliver their milk and bread,
their tortillas and eggs,
those who drove their cars,
who cared for their dogs and gardens
and worked for them,
and they’ll ask,
“What did you do when the poor suffered, when tenderness and life burned out in them?”

Apolitical intellectuals of my sweet country,
you will not be able to answer.

A vulture of silence
will devour your gut.
Your own misery will pick at your soul.
And you will be mute in your shame.

Skrevet av Otto René Castillo (1936- 1967), torturert til døde, bildet over er fra Guantanamo Bay, et område som eksisterer utenfor lov og rett