When they arrested me I was 19 years old. I was one of the youngest political prisoners of the time in Arica.
I didn’t understand what was happening because there wasn’t any information. I was very scared.
I was in solitary confinement in a very small cell that had a door with bars which let light in.
Near the floor, there was a small hole through which you could see into the next cell. One of my comrades was in it. He was older than me.
We spoke through this hole and he would sing me “Amiga” (“Friend”) by Miguel Bosé when I would cry at sundown. I felt very helpless in this place.
He sang very badly but his song would really help me. Nowadays I laugh about it. His solidarity has stayed with me.
Even in the worst moment, a song can calm you down, it can hug you. He was on the other side but I felt him close by.
His song gave me a feeling of protection, shelter, of not being alone. These are tokens of affection in such terrible times. Every time I listen to this song I remember him with affection and I get emotional.
After many years we met and spoke about the song. He was laughing. I was nice to thank him after so many years.
Published on: 26 September 2018
Only sadness wants to talk to me
Now the rain has taken
the last shred of your dress
Now I’ve forgotten what I am
I remember what I used to be.
If I’ve been what I’ve been, it is because of your body
If I’ve been night, it’s because your night wanted it
If I’ve been a kiss it’s because of my lips
learnt to be a kiss for you
If I’ve been what I am it has been in your lap
If I’ve been life it’s been to give you life
How sweet this word sounds today
Time was not time in our presence
Together we felt infinite
And the universe was small
Compared with what we were.
If you’ve been what you’ve been it’s been in my house
Which was your palace and hideout
How sweet this word sounds
and how simple this word sounds today.
There is no darker night than this night
and the cold gathers
in the corners of the soul
And now the silence is erasing
the sweet vibrations of your words
Now that I’m barely anything
I remember what I was when you weren’t there.
You may cite material from the Cantos Cautivos archive but you must credit it by including the name of our project and its URL.
Any third-person use of original material related to testimonies aimed at publication or public dissemination requires the authorisation of the Cantos Cautivos team.