Monte Alban dawning still at midday
my noon blazing through the cactus
spines pricking too sudden for
more than my eyes to take.
Sink vision into the mountain
where the Zapotec built mountains.
The best we do is exultant straining.
I tear a leaf and it bleeds saffron
upon my palm: Its blood is sweet
its perfume talks with an eagle
slash across my face.
I kneel to look at hidden flowers
diffusing red against the walls;
pebbles in the dust grind my knees
reviving drops of blood after
so long dry.
Immense day of seeing, of caressing
as the five is all I thought I had.
And I learned against the uncovered wall
the archaeologist’s trick with time.
Time is for the asking:
these dressed and naked stones
are time, the clouds for the summer
storm, the mescal plants are seconds.
And endless the moment!
There is a man below,
threading the ruins
with his clay flute.
He’ll sell that and every
stone and leaf, if asked,
but can never lose them.
The moment is endless!