Tezcatlipoca is the Smoking Mirror, the god of the nocturnal sky, god of the ancestral memory, god of time and the Lord of the North, the embodiment of change through conflict.
I held you precious in a time of war
and ceremony, adored your
melancholies, spoke the rosary
of your many reflections
over still waters and storms,
the weight of your inlaid skull
in my lap a volcano, a snake
of beads, a sacrificial feast.
And when you slipped away I burnt
copal incense in all
the cardinal directions,
singing the names of our dead.
Nothing could bring you back to me.
The thousand nocturnal skies beneath
which I loved you
ache with unspent thunder.
O shaman of stars, my jaguar,
how could I forget your conch
eyes, your mountain heart –
you incised them into the codex
of my body without mercy
kissed and painted scars with
your coral mouth your knives of obsidian
so that now there are no nights left
bereft of your sorcery, no empire in
any dimension of the world without
a mirror-tree carrying in each
of its perfect shards
the memory of a perigee moon.
(first published in Mojave River Review)
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