Ariel Montoya

Self-Driven: Ariel Montoya, translated by Silvia Rafti


It was no longer possible to return to the crowds
On those streets prey of the military
Or white and blue flags flying on the roofs
Or firm arms
Before the turbulence of Power
And its recycled shrapnel of poisonous gunpowder;
It was not the fear of so many young people detached
Over the flames
Of freedom itself under the shaft of death
What this time abstained them from continuing
Opening their chests
To so many heartless bullets
Bad without dawn without soul
In the just protest overflowing in the
Pleasant calmness
Without a weapon.
It was no longer possible to travel between buses
And adolescent smiles
To drink water from solitary faucets in the middle of a
millenary heat,
To greet one another in formidable encounters
Under caps scarfs and hats
To be revelry
Family and mass in an everlasting individuality
To feel our citizenship from any traffic light, from where
Any decent police officer points out the way
Before the consenting demand that the
People came for.
We are more now
Even if we cannot flood our streets
Because now
Comes the exiled with his flag of freedom
To the public plaza of all the countries
With the ID of his new Constitution
With his permanent illegality of
the sempiternal immigrant
With the renewed and joyful legal
Work permit
In another country different to his own
Because in Nicaragua nothing could be done anymore;
You, woman, are also another one with whom we are more
Someone who is not lacking the desire
To spread your rage before the pains of the day
Even if you are a simple homemaker
A student supported by money wires
From your brother who is risking it all far away,
Of my country’s false industry of progress
Boasted about by the mercantile delirium of the
Involved advertisement,
Always full of  shady leaders
Prominent looters
Of the public treasury together with their sons
Grandsons cousins and relatives
Supported by merchants ignorant of
Commercial morals
And their noble charms
Empathetic and compassionate.
We truly are more
And every time they are less
Us with Ambassadors and them without thunder
Self-driven we go
For freedom with the
Diaspora through the plains and airplanes
Besides those stipulated by
Human Rights.
Each one of us is Self-driven
Because we are not one but some
So many that it is all of us
An all that many of us are
Many that we add up to
In this century and in this Spring
In this hour and in this day where
No one is forced but no one is missing
In this Nicaragua where no one remains quiet anymore.

Ariel Montoya is a Nicaraguan poet, publisher and journalist based now in the United States. He published his first poems and stories at the age of 15 in La Prensa Literaria, edited by the poet Pablo Antonio Cuadra.