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Rigoberto Gonzalez – Ⅱ

The Soldier of Mictlán 




Once upon a time there was a soldier

who marched to Mictlán in his soldier

boots and every step was a soldier

step and every breath was a soldier

word. Do you know what this soldier

said? I’d like a piece of bread for my soldier

hand. I’d like a slice of cheese for my soldier

nose. And I’d like a woman for my soldier

heart. The mayor of Mictlán saluted the soldier

and bowed his head as he told the soldier:

We have no bread, oh honorable soldier,

we hold empty hands instead. Dear soldier,

let us take yours if we may. And the soldier

held out his hand to be taken. Oh brave soldier,

said the mayor, cheese is your soldier

wish, but we have none since the other soldier

left. We smell empty hands instead. The soldier

let the mayor sniff the scent of his soldier

hand. And forgive us, oh strong soldier,

said the mayor, but no woman worthy of soldier

warmth lives in our empty town. Will your soldier

eyes teach us wonder and kindness and soldier

love instead? Silence stiffened the soldier

face as a search ensued in the soldier

head for a moment one moment of soldier

bliss. But all was dead. The longer the soldier

looked the more the streets of his soldier

mind resembled the streets that his soldier

feet had taken him to: where no lost soldier

finds bread or cheese or a woman to be a soldier

wife. This was no space for a soldier

life indeed. So off to the hills the soldier

fled to seek out the place where a soldier

sheds the rattle that beckons the soldier

to death to soldier to death to soldier.





Mictlán is the region of the dead in Mexica/Aztec mythology.