A stanza from Neruda’s “Explico Algunas Cosas”

And one morning all that was burning,

one morning the bonfires

leapt out of the earth

devouring human beings -

and from then on fire,

gunpowder from then on,

and from then on blood.

Bandits with planes and Moors,

bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,

bandits with black friars spattering blessings

came through the sky to kill children

and the blood of children ran through the streets

without fuss, like children’s blood.