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.