Palenqueo

By Laura Hamblin

Oxygen gives no breath  
In the air  
Of overripe bananas  
And a temple concealed  
With sprawling vines.  
It makes the message  
Of a descendantless culture  
Difficult to interpret.  
You will not learn it  
From the one-time valley child  
Now suckling tequila,  
Nor from those  
With proper degrees  
Picking endlessly  
At the records.  
One must be still.  
The answer  
Is in the cry of the Macaw 
And the sound of lichen  
Pulverizing rock.  

Laura Hamblin

Palenque: archaeological site of an ancient  
Mayan metropolis located near Chiapas, Mexico.