Snow on Popocatépetl, the SleepingWoman* yawns and stretches, a half-moon smiles crookedly as the last lights go out in the valley and the parched city licks the hillsides. A blurred photograph falls from a wallet, lovers seated on basalt columns an ocean away, her arms bind his chest in a tight girdle as though her life depended on it, as though he could stop the wind that whips their clothes and hair. In eighty-five the gods thrashed in their graves, the city shook, schools and hospitals crumbled; only the infants in their incubators were spared. Elsewhere their anger oozed and oozes still, the slow-cooling fire that sculpted enigmatic causeways, hexagonal puzzles where giants and lovers pitch their wits against the elements.
* Popular name for Iztaccíhuatl, a dormant volcano. Both Iztaccíhuatl and the highly active Popocatépetl are situated in the CentralMexican altiplano.