Mexican Heartbeat

I see you where the eagle rock stands,

watching over the canyon

strong, noble, free.

Where the dragon's teeth guard

the old stone crone, cauldron slung

across her back, picking her way steadily

towards the sleeping giantess who

dreams of Orion and his hunt

to come home.

I feel you where the rattlesnake

sheds its skin in the dark,

under a full hare moon,

with just the glow of red ancestral rocks

for protection.

I hold you on the precipice,

where the hot dust wind

whispers through bamboo, tickling

the turquoise pool of El Chan,

and the yellow cactus flower scents herself.

Shall we dive into the Otherworld?

It is waiting.

I flame you like the fire water

burning a hole in the back

of my throat

in La Cucaracha,

where cigarettes smoulder in dark nooks,

hot points of lava, dancing

among smashed shot glasses,

tequila stains on my breasts.

I sweat you in the wetness

of the temezcal

with dirt-rubbed skin,

as grandfather fire smokes copal and tobacco.


I catch you with the carefree rawness

of dogs humping on steep streets

in the night, and the wildness of horses

yet to be tamed, but curious to eat

from my hand.

I call you with the passion

of the three Marys,

weeping for small Jesus

as he sweats his way at noon

around the square, bleeding.

I watch you with the sharp eye

of the purple-cloaked crone

standing by the olive tree, waiting

for the answer to the question

that has to be asked.

I know you with my gutter heart,

cut into the cobbles, foaming

with street water, yet

still reflecting the brightness

of the hot Mexican sun.

SCM 2018