Patricia Colchado


I remember those girls
––the few who came back––,
they returned already grown women.
Their eyes no longer sparkled
when they looked at the white sand.
They were denied the thrill of painting their hands
with hay;
their souls seemed infused by soot.
Their beauty was erased,
their tenderness
devoured by tongues of fire.

Anguish was an immense, black, carnivore
that grew inside us.
For a long time our bodies were
harbors for our trembling.

It was getting late…
Some of us managed to climb over the wall, the others
were tied up and taken away,
of their childhood there remained only fleeting
shadows projected on the walls.


He has gone silent.
I have seen him drift away
as when I found him
abandoned on the beach…
Where did he leave his thoughts?
his words? his smile?
And, despite all that, it is this little one
who has saved me.
Not these residency papers,
not this compassion.

My fingernails have turned grimy
for digging into the pain.
My skin has dried up
like a Sahara cypress. My skin,
but not my trunk, he is that: my son.

We have become
two beings traveling
amidst barks and fowl smells,
beings who awaken without knowing why
under the patient gaze of crickets and doves.


I saw him floating,
I saw him sinking
until his little body slept
in the ocean’s eternity.
My arms opened paths
between the waves,
and my head
struggled to stay above water.
I cried.
I cried for that little child
who wanted to escape
first from the shots, and then from death.

Where was his home?
somewhere in the ocean perhaps?
And I am here,
standing up but torn apart,
lost to myself in this stinking skin.
A skin that should have died,
but lives on in the muck…

This is war!
Rots our souls,
makes us beings drenched
in anger and bitterness.

Translated by Braulio Muñoz

Selected and edited by Eli Urbina Montenegro

PATRICIA COLCHADO (Peru, 1981). Writer and poet, she lives in Munich (Germany). Colchado published the plate of poems Hypercubus (2000), the poetry books Blumen (2005), Las pieles del edén (2007), Ciudad ajena (2015), LyrischerKalender / Calendariolírico. Poetic selection,  bilingual (2017) and Ningunlado/ Nirgendland. Bilingual edition (2021). In 2011 she received the honorable mention in the award organized by the International Association La Porte des Poétes de France. In 2020 she won the poetry contest organized by the Stadtlesen International Literature Festival (Austria), representing the city of Munich, with her poem “Un árbol dentro de mí“. In 2011 she published the novel La danza del narciso. She is the author of several children's books.