To Celia, A Disappeared Comrade

The roses will bloom once again in Europe
while back there, far away, they have stopped time
decreeing hunger
decreeing fear
decreeing a state of death.
The aromos bloomed
. . . and no one saw them.

— Sonia
(Trans. by Aurora Levins Morales)

“Sonia” is the pseudonym of a political prisoner held in Santiago Prison during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). Under Pinochet, more than 40,000 people imprisoned, an estimated 28,000 tortured, and at least 3,000 executed or “disappeared.”