, , , ,

~~a glosa~~

You mingle with eagles,
you are as harmonious as tigers;
with this the flowers are sipped,
and we are a little happier here.

—“Canto Florida” (Xochicuicatl)

You there, yes, you! The one with sadness
in your eyes. I couldn’t help but notice
from my plot here in the Recoleta
that your pockets bulge with trinkets
from the merchants of oblivion. You scrape
the ground and wake us ancient regals
with your wailing, going on about the end
of times as if to garbage scrabbling
you were reduced like urban sea gulls.
You mingle with eagles!

Rise and fall, yadda-yadda, we’ve lived it
all and prophesied with bones and fecund
vines. Your sciences are different, but
you, like us, allow the god of gravity
to smother, then you grumble, whine,
all prissy—you could crackle! Fires
burn white-hot, consume with joy
the oxygen that races in. A life full-lived
uplifts the lied-upon above the liars.
You are as harmonious as tigers

and as dangerous as you allow
yourself to be amidst the grave
and colourless. Millennia, we’ve met
at crossroads, you en route to birth
and us to flower song. With gladness
from your tongue, you lightly tripped,
“Fear not, rejoice!” and so we did,
the newly dead. We dance with you
today, sing bright and sugar lipped;
with this the flowers are sipped,

dear princesses and princes, you’re
the rainbow oscillation, a continuum
to us who momentarily reside this side
of new creation. Whenever you are laughing
and orgasming, you catch glimpses of
the 8-shaped path but then forget. If you could hear
your physicists the moment they transpose
from mass to energy, you’d never mourn
again. See all that lives as the drawing near,
and we are a little happier here.

Happy Day of the Dead, 2018!


© Elaine Stirling, 2018
Author’s note: The translation of “Canto Florida” comes from In the Language of Kings: An Anthology of Mesoamerican Literature—Pre-Colombian to the Present, Miguel Leon-Portilla and Earl Shorris.