A plain wide and flat as Godís palm.
Ahead, a hundred-breasted hill
spills its verdure like some Amazonian
Astarte, dense world of secrets covering tree
branches, rocks. Nothing but this green exuberance
footed in red clay so firmly baked we
wonder if it holds the print of all our origins.
Into rain forest past dripping Indian huts
where barefooted children speak an unrecorded
and itís somewhere around here, I think, we lose
that slender sliver ĎIí, that tender pole in
which we hang a self.
At the ruins we marvel at fretted towers, tunnels,
vaults, sarcophagus within sarcophagus. But itís
thatís fathomless, that we recognize as true:
the sun-god, sunk in the underworld each night,
disdains to rise?
Suppose the pot-bellied earth-god, smoking his
cigar, decides to
hoard earthís treasure for himself? The sacrificial
for something hot and steaming to propitiate
poised to devour us between bored, carniverous
Copyright © 1989 by
From Before We Were Strangers
by Nadya Aisenberg, Forest Books, 1989.