them. Such is a poetry that breaks racism now and then essay poetic illusion with the need to speak of the unspeakable, at whatever cost. Forché's poetry moves us with a forceful sense of "the other" rare in contemporary American verse. She literally can find no other way to say what she must, so she resorts to what might seem an inappropriate image in such a grim context. Tcbu includes many other references to hands, suggesting a wide range of possibilities for their use. The Colonel, upon close examination, shows itself to be not only a poem but one that makes extensive use of a host of effects, internal and external, to produce the feeling of stunned horror that it leaves us with. In the second-to-last stanza the poet reports a rumor that Victoria lives in a trailer near Detroit with her children and with her husband, who "returned from the Far East broken / cursing holy blood at the table" and whose whittling of soap cakes associates. The moon swung bare on its black cord over the house (4). As we move into Sections II and III, we encounter a child (referred to only as "it and a woman in a photograph.
It brings the ears alive for us, just as the one dropped in the glass of water by the Colonel "came alive." And even he addresses the poet's "problem" as he performs his heinous act. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the cushion beside him.
However, by taking the last line in the context of the entire poem, we see the implications, not of going to Paris, but how the poet got there: not by relying on the men of this poem as her vehicle. In 1992, I returned to El Salvador for the first time in twelve years. The following lines portray the colonel's house as a fortress: "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. He wanted me to go back to Washington and tell President Carter, "We've had enough of this human rights policy and his actions were his way of demonstrating his contempt. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. His daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the night. Forche remembers horror with stunned clarity, a poet's post-traumatic stress: "The bodies of friends have turned up disemboweled and decapitated, their teeth punched into broken points, their faces sliced off with machetes. It stands for the Salvadoran people, for those who have been mutilated and murdered as well as for those who continue to resist the military dictatorship. I am tired of fooling around he said. The Country Between Us (tcbu) titled "In Salvador, 1978-80 students will need some introduction to the situation in El Salvador at the time when Forché went there as a journalist/poet/human rights investigator. They told a poet.