Immortal Day

The day overflows itself, relates itself to itself, grabs the wild roots of time, plants then harvests them in terracotta pots. Irises bloom near the edge of dusk, big sloppy petals flapping in the breeze. I stare at a circular Mayan calendar, its intricate hieroglyphs narrate the eternal return of death, grain and rain. Only mathematics makes a purer world, a cleaner world mindlessly orbiting the mind. O immortal day, how blood obscures your story’s end, fields of white, blades of red. Pumping hearts suffocate in the high priest’s hand. Eternal day, how embodied you are, how sensible: the pliant movement of flesh. O mirrored day, you show our hidden faces, faces of fear, blanched faces as the heart is raised high. Let me see the face of the Other in me. Let his story, her story be mine. Let us metamorphose into love, into gift, into the heartbeat of the cosmos, swirling steadily above our heads. O blackened day, how destructive you are, burying the sun in the sea, coaxing darkness to dance, the Other’s features erased. Bring back the face of the world. Bring back the gems of the jungle, the cenote’s underwater undulations. Bring back your painted smile. I live each day backward, retreating from the Mayan blood, swiping it across my pants to clean the stain from my hands. We all hold the knife, over our neighbor, our brother, our wayward guide to the stars. O vanishing day, how we weep for time’s passage, how we mourn our intrinsic loss, how we mount an attack on finitude, on being trapped by time, trapped in time. We eat seconds as years, we eat the second course to begin, have our fill. Then, O immortal day, we die.

(This is a reflection on the stories of the Mayans' human sacrifice

while I was exploring the ruins in Yucatan, Mexico.)

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