The Colonel by Carolyn Forché
The Colonel by Carolyn Forché stories
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WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD is true. I was in his house. His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went
By pneumantric https://www.reddit.com/r/...

The Colonel by Carolyn Forché

by pneumantric

WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD is true. I was in his house. His wife carried

a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went

out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the

cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over

the house. On the television was a cop show. It was in English.

Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to

scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his hands to lace. On

the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We had

dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for

calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes, salt, a type of

bread. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. There was a brief

commercial in Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was

some talk then of how difficult it had become to govern. The parrot

said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed

himself from the table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say

nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries

home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like

dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He took one

of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water

glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around he said. As

for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck them-

selves. He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held the last

of his wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he said. Some

of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the

ears on the floor were pressed to the ground.

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