Elegy -Translation by Katherine Silver + Robin Myers

Every evening a young man plays his Tarahumara violin
in his room. Jesús Hielo. Jesus Ice.
My sister remembers him, in Cerocahui.
—Outside the world grows, concrete and vast,
the hills, endlessly trees, conifers
sown fields, grasses, sands, stone.
He died today.
He was mestizo, they tell me.
He has very indigenous features, I answer,
then have to correct myself: had.
How sad, that first time, to use the past tense
when speaking of someone.
The living, solid verb gives way in the end:
he spoke, he said, he had, he was.
Hielo used to play his violin in the mountains.

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