Guest Poem by Leo Boix

Leo Boix is a bilingual Latinx poet born in Argentina who lives and works in the UK. His debut English collection Ballad of a Happy Immigrant (Chatto & Windus, 2021), was awarded the PBS Wild Card Choice. He received the Bart Wolffe Poetry Prize, the Keats-Shelley Prize and a PEN Award, The Society of Authors’ Foundation and K. Blundell Trust.

A Latin American Sonnet CXCVI

In a dense forest of the Gran Chaco stretch, ‘the hunting land’,
Argentina’s largest known jaguar–the Qaramta–is on high patrol,
it’s after giant anteaters, tapirs, capybaras, peccaries and stands
crouched down by the riverbed, alert, frozen, in full-control.
Nearby, a Guaraní guide on horse pulls a boat with tourists
through marshes. He splashes, swims in the brown lagoons
until they’re all in a raised settlement surrounded by a forest.
The whole place is an oven, it’s already late in the afternoon.
Qaramta looks at them from its hiding place, it’s blurred
by the dense hot ticket. The place named ‘El Impenetrable’,
nearly impossible to enter it. But they’re there for the jaguar,
it’s coat of orange fur, it’s black rosette shaped spots, the muscles
of a South American Titan. Then they see it, the feline physique
as in flames, staring at them in defiance, ‘he who kills with one leap’.