At a Loss

So many eulogies
I tried already

I wanted to write
yesterday when
they found you
dismembered like
Túpaj Katari

You were my hero

What to say?
what words for
the deed?
what words
for the dead and
the living?

The Arabic you
spoke like a
second skin

¡Ay! mi amor ¿será
así siempre? gente
como vos, humana,
hermosa, muerta en
una guerra de barbarie

Our humanity-
what’s left-let’s
make an offering of
song for our shining star
burnt out in Babylon

Margaret Hassan-
how do we go on?
we must not collapse
as you never did

But who will repay
this debt?
What we
owe to those who
do and die
without safety

Patron saint reborn
we mourn you we
love you like our
mother we are
your orphaned
children bereft

and adrift in this
beastly sea of death

FORREST HYLTON is conducting doctoral research in history in Bolivia. He can be reached at



Forrest Hylton is visiting professor of history at the graduate school at the Universidade Federal da Bahia. He taught for four years at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellín as well as three years at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. He is the author of Evil Hour in Colombia (Verso, 2006), and has written about Colombia for New Left Review, Nueva Sociedad (Buenos Aires), London Review of Books, Historical Materialism, Against the Current, Nacla Report on the Americas – and, last but certainly not least, CounterPunch.