Obsidian’s Edge 5
Mescal and Memory
Frail old men
huddled under hand-woven blankets
sipping their morning mescal:
a note book seamed with memories.
hastening to autumnal crispness,
their wrinkled faces,
their minds ready to tramp
the snow of today’s blank page.
bursting back to bloom,
flower by unyielding flower,
they squat in the square
beneath blossoming trees.
characters lifted from the pages
of their pre-Columbian chronicles
and Mickey-Moused on modern walls:
framed on a restaurant menu,
recalled on a hunded peso bill.
has forgotten how to walk
on the burned, broken feet
that Cortés held to the fire.
a king in his own right,
bows and bobs to tourists
in the restaurant that bears his name.
an errant, feathered knight,
whirs his wings and charges
at the sun’s twin windmills:
tethered to a golden flower.
Sweet flutter-by of yesterday’s butterfly:
fragments the memory
holding it bitter between tooth and tongue.