Anthology: Andres del Castillo
Agua & Unu
Bolivia sleeps in thirst for water
A land-locked country scarred by its mirage:
Her scars found in a colonized story,
Where only mountains and deserts exist.
The Spanish conquistador yells agua.
The thirsty Inca whispers unu.
These two words are the reason I exist,
And why my ancestors still yell agua,
But below the skin whisper unu.
To be mestizo isn’t a rare story,
Nor is the cause (which produced the mirage),
But pain from 1524 festered—thirsty for water.
An ancestor long ago whispered unu,
But was ravished before she could yell agua.
Her anguish is the reason I exist;
Birthed from her invasive, harmful story,
Is my culture and its thirst for water.
Birthed from her woe, is B’livia’s mirage,
And its lack to heal wounds ‘tween unu,
Bolivia’s inland state, and Spanish agua.
The families born of this same story,
Heal through quelling the story by mirage.
But only one element can exist,
That has the talent to heal wounds. Water
Can break the mirage, and mend unu’s
Colonization. Then the drought will end.
Bolivia is stuck in a mirage,
Hankering, craving, coveting water.
In a land-locked country, this can’t exist.
Within the mirage lies the true story.
In a peninsula of agua,
I grew to look past the pain that exists,
And use my wealth of water for unu
And agua. I’m the sixth gen’ration
Of mestizo B’livia, and water
Has healed my wounds.
1 Agua (Ah-gwah): translates to water in the Spanish language
2 Unu (oo-noo): translates to water in the indigenous Incan language of Quechua
3 Mestizo: A historically Spanish term for a person of both Indigenous and Spanish descent
4 1524: historical year the Spanish Empire first arrived in South America