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Xibalba

Sunday, 21 June, 2015

The underworld was located in a cave
somewhere in the jungle, the feet that led to it
buried in falling green leaves and precipitation:
a Tantalus-esque trench, a grove of people
transformed into trees.

The word now – the museum exhibit – evokes,
rather than insinuates, a serpent plumed headdress,
tattoos that go deeper than skin, blood on the pyramid
of Chicén-Itzá, a priest with a red dagger
and a flaming sword.

Later, Xibalba was identified:
a rift in space – a parsec the length of a virtuous soul
and its journey to Hun-Came’s ante room – Cygnus
and Sagittarius the pillars and doors –
a silent river.

Important – then – that the sky would literally stop.
The gods lived in us; the choice to stop
tantamount to Ragnarok – the Spanish hardly
understood the meaning when they found
our bodies.