And so, the tour bus doors retract,
With the stone Aztec stairway
To a creepy roseate gravy
Of renewal and blood.
Below that dawn, itís clear:
Our easements are conditional.
The body has no right of way.
Youíll have to wait your turn
Behind the tour group of feral dogs
And the shit-flecked toilet-swirl of
Never, as we are, limited to one
carrion bag apiece (the dead being
Then, here at last, the Montezuman
Of civic martyrdom and sanitation,
Braided vine rivulets of blood-letting,
The font of your cupped hands
Raised up, the skyís wound coagulating
From peach to nuclear orange.
There may-could be a noble lineage
Of self-sacrifice, but the circle you
All have season passes for
The Yucatan white-water adventure,
then lunch at Planet Hollywood.
In the end, the unthinkable, the unholy,
The heartless, becomes no more
Than coring an apple, pitting a fig,
Scooping a heaping fingernail
of coke to each ruined nostril.
You know how those sun gods can be:
Utilities are never covered
And you do what you have to
To pay the rent.
Mark Cox teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at UNC-Wilmington
and in the Vermont College MFA Program. His latest books are
Natural Causes, (Pitt Poetry Series, 2004) and Thirty-seven
Years from the Stone (Pitt Poetry Series, 1998).