El Mago Learns to Fly

For Eduardo González-Viaña

by Heather B. Moore

 

He weaves stories from shadows of women, from corn (the flesh
of Mayan gods) from sudden roses and a pueblo is Peru
on the ocean’s edge, where the people still wake up and walk
to church through starlit streets. A trickster tells the truth,
but tells it slant. Spanish incantations make me forget
breathing is boring and blood beats without meaning to.

We are rich. Un árbol de oro, y es nuestro.
Not just a golden tree, but a sky
blushing at our indiscretion. How could we
walk so far through crackling leaves
along a trickling creek waiting for winter’s rain
and not know our ancestors
are speaking to us? How could we
come across a burning bush and not listen?

We walk through fields so green, I think it’s spring,
even though December’s first wind roughs up the river,
rustles through ruddy blueberry fields and bare hazelnut orchards,
combs climbing vineyards and rows of Christmas trees,
and finally crests the fir-fringed hills,
catching us full in the face: despertaos,
vivid, amad, bailad, volad, os doy las alas. . . .

As we rise through the clouds, he’ll die
content just holding my hand.
I’ll guide him to his house full of windows
and we’ll watch the river turn silver miles below
and volcanoes erupt with fresh snow
and the ocean burst itself a billion times
against basalt-black cliffs, carving out a new cave.

Someone will have to make a treasure map.
Someone will have to tell a story.