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:

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