Bestiary for the End Times

El Rio Lerma Santiago (This river was animal once)
The river holds onto itself and
sits still, its arms crossed,
its gelatinous eddy
white with spume, its
mud banks buttered
with yellow foam
that trembles lighter than
air and clings to the garbage
and licks the brown rubbermaid
reeds. The river licks
the blank sun-tattered
billboards, licks the cracked
sanyo television and licks the faces
of the dead where they swim,
licks the gnarled arthritic joints in
the petrified hands of Tonantzín,
huey Tonantzín Tonantzín huey Tonantzín
your work-hardened swollen fingers
forgotten and knuckly as stones
rapping on stones. The river’s course is
vanquished and rotten, blue with sorry filth
gone the way of Tenochtitlan, of Teotihuacan
a slow animal senescing in its age
and now there’s nothing to be done
nothing to be done but sing
huey Tonantzín Tonantzín huey Tonantzín
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