From Xibalba “[You want to know where you come from.]”

You want to know where you come from.

Aquí la noche da vueltas lentas

un zopilote
       negro e inmenso

The night circles you
             with its many eyes of fire.

Below you the ground
      is a vast accumulation.

You scry into an emptiness
                          where everything blinks back,

              a thousand bodies of memory
buzzing through darkness,

                                                   a great swarm
that descends, eating the violets, lilies, aguacates . . .

            All reflections consumed, the eclipse cuts even
your shadow.
                         You are the lost daughter of Xibalba.

Can’t you see the scythe
                                         swinging from your footsteps,

                            a thousand deaths in every direction?

From Dream of Xibalba (Orison Books, 2023) by Stephanie Adams-Santos. Copyright © 2023 by Stephanie Adams-Santos. Reprinted with the permission of the author.