Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Lunch with the Aztecs

Lunch with the Aztecs

We sit down to eat
in pleasing familiarity
the perfume of flowers
freshly picked
The mother smiles at me
with folded hands
In the bathroom
she says
father's in the bathroom
I imagine him
the last smooth scrape
he considers the blade
and why not?
an offering
a minute sacrifice
a slice of skin
for family health
a promotion
kinder neighbours

I wonder
if I listen close
under the sound
of my breath
What will it sound like?
splitting skin like butter
or the wicked wicked
sawing through
of tough leather
and will it boil over
like thin red lava
or splatter splatter rush
out like a river
subterranean once
now liberated

And then he will sit
with us
his fresh wounds glowing
with the pride
of paternal self-sacrifice

And the snake will dance
before me
its thick green body
with its sap of life
adorned with feathers
bright bright feathers

Atop the dizzying heights
of a decaying pyramid
I will squint
into a valley of bones
sharpened to daggers
and count which ones
I arrange for my enemies
and which ones
are arranged for me


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