When in a fit of anger my father killed the cat,
Bartolo my cat
because it put its tail in his broth
and because it was already old and didn’t catch mice as it should
and because it was expensive to maintain,
when my drunk father killed it with his hands
there was a noisy confusion at home.
All came, all:
my sister said: save me the eyes
for a pair of earrings, and Martino,
our blind neighbor, bagged the guts
– you can make violin strings with them –
and mother, who cried at first, cried with me;
she wanted the fur
to put as a collar on her jacket,
and the whiskers
were bagged by my brother Eladio the mechanic,
and the fur on its paws became
for the fat witch that lives at the back of the courtyard
and is a dressmaker.
What was left they boiled with salt and onions.
They gave it to Luis, who sleeps on our street,
because with it you can also make cat broth for the hungry.
I asked for the bones.
I bite them one after another in front of my sister’s mirror
because my grandmother said
that if you bite the right one you become invisible.
Translation: 2005, Nicolás Suescún.
© Piedad Bonnett