Patria Chica

This state exists in paradox:

green fields are alive with imported bulls,

A cathedral rises on sacrificial ground: a Baroque monolith;

dark saints bathe in the river of gods, and blond angels

shatter images of winged serpents trapped in the talons of visionary birds.


The country is a mirror, breaking:

the hills of Chapultapec and Atlixco erode,

reveal a thousand pyramid temples;

arrowheads are discovered daily by children

five-hundred years removed from their ancestors.


The land has become a parent, androgynous:

the Spaniard takes Malinche

to his bed;  he breathes still, lives

through her creation, his procreation.

The children sit in the dust at their feet.


Now we stand in the middle of a river,

looking for Tonatiuh, trying to trap Him

with electricity and glass.  He looks on, burns pale skin

brown, melts gold with His heat, singes the hats

of field workers, rises around us in heat distortions.


We tread and wade, but the water won’t part

for us.  We are without borders, kept

between lines.  His only message

is an eruption of dust that baptizes

the child who will climb His pyramid.


The secret, centered in the mirror,

remains unteachable,

shreds hearts like ripening fruit.


© Christina Salme Ruiz