The Dogs of Yucatán
for José Emilio Pacheco
The only way is to get down
on your knees and pray among the dogs.
They are the community of the streets,
and all streets lead to heaven here,
across the great plain of Aztec grief,
which is living, the other side
of evening. Across the lawns
of the Paseo de Montejo, the beasts
of the Avenue Reforma gather
for the night’s prowl. Crossing
cautiously the pools of water
where a clock of silver hangs,
five centuries carries them to the temple
many have forgotten. The dogs
do not bark. They have learned
that noise is an enemy, the onslaught
of retribution. Death’s still cheap.
The sleeping kill in their sleep.
The wealthy have moved to
another quarter. Now the dogs,
antically awake, roam the ancient
byways, searching for something
as yet unnamed, something that
sustains them: a scrap of civilization
or refuse left by someone
on their way to the Underworld,
leading back to our own Creation.
George Moore’s fourth collection of poems, The Hermits of Dingle, has just been released by FutureCycle Press, and a new collection, Children's Drawings of the Universe, will be published by Salmon Poetry in 2014. He has published poems in The Atlantic, Poetry, Northwest Review, Colorado Review, Blast, Dublin Quarterly, and The Antigonish Review. Nominated recently for Pushcart Prizes, Best of the Web and Best of the Net, George has been a finalist for a number of national book awards. He lives with his wife part of the year in Nova Scotia and part in Colorado, and his website can be found here: http://spot.colorado.edu/~mooreg/Site/About.html.