Cobá

By

The view from atop the temple

Was claustrophobic—

Miles and miles of monotone green,

A forest of uniform trees.

 

At the time I could only be proud

Of conquering the steep, slippery climb,

Of rising through the underbrush

And into heaven—

 

—your strong arms resting atop

My shoulders, around my neck,

Your lips pressed against my forehead,

Your heart beating against my ear—

 

But now I remember something you

Told me on a chilly October night

Well before that March of wonder

Far from this frigid home—

 

Back then, when our love was still not

Sturdy like that temple built to last

Innumerable eternities, when it was

Primitive

 

You called our love monotone

Unchanging like that perennial green jungle

Extending all around us, eating us alive—

Tedious, wasteful, mortifying

 

You were afraid of it, of the constancy,

Stability, permanence—you were afraid of the

Temple and the jungle, of an immutability

Your restlessness could not understand

 

You wanted the temple crumbled down,

You wanted war upon war, civilization upon

Civilization, ceaseless death uprooting those

Millenary trees—

 

The progress of destruction and the

Destruction of progress. Nothing

Was ever enough for you—

Ceaseless restless mindless

 

But I—I saw time stop its

Ceaseless restless mindless

Ticking when I reached the top of that temple

And looked out at the world below;

 

Yes—I held my breath for a moment, and then

Took in the humid air of the Yucatán, and then

Looked into your unreadable blue eyes, and

Thanked God for that moment of stillness

 

And for the green of that deep, inscrutable

Forest, the green of my own eyes,

A green balm for the soul that wants to land

Somewhere and there forever rest.