Sunday, March 21, 2004

#15 from The Cicerone

To end
a solar eclipse
the priests take a
young boy who has
fewer than ten
gold tokens
on the wall
of his family home,
wash him with water
from their private spring
& clothe him
in unbleached linen
which is
woven from flax
harvested near the sea.

He is given peyote.
He is laid on the altar.
He stares at the sun with dull eyes.
He sees darkness
before the darkness is seen.

A sunflower is
placed to replace his face.

We are gathered, watching.

We know what is to happen.

We know what is to happen
then.

As the moon
starts its
slide onto the sun
a brazier is lit. As it
continues to drift
twelve torches
set in a circle
around the altar
are set alight. & as
the moon
passes fully
across the sun
hiding it
like an apple
poised before
a man's face
a priest wearing
the skin of an ocelot
which marks him
as coming from
the same family
slices the boy open
from throat to un-
descended testicles,
rips out his entrails
& casts them
into the brazier.

It is done quickly. The
heart is still beating.

It is done so
we hear the first spatter of fat

just before
a fingernail of light shows

the sun is being born again,
the boy is dead.

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