Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

Ecotours, Ltd

Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

Ecotours, Ltd

Article excerpt

(Ixil Triangle, Guatemala)

Olive-shined and crumpled,

eucalyptus leaves huddle weakly

atop steaming rocks, unmarrow

the lungs with a darker fragrance

shocking you back to life.

You breathe the stinging deeper,

gaze the few chicken feathers

mixed in, and smile: you've another

hour in this dripping cave, and then

it's hot air balloon champagne dinner

high above a Mayan landscape.

The brochures were right: you couldn't

ask for a better deal, the tour sold

cheap and easy as the human bones

just a dig of earth away, 30 years

since a bulldozer shamed them

into ground, muddied tree roots

now curling about skulls popped open

by gunfire bright enough to translate

terror into cornstalks shattered red.

But that was a long time ago,

and now you've artisanal rum

to sample, hand-sewn tapestries

of the quetzal bird to consider,

and these cute little jade earrings

that your girlfriend would just die for. …

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