Mayan dream

Antonio Ajqui was my name
Mayan my heritage
One year ago came my death
At the hands of the monster

My words exist
Because in the immense pain I suffered on dying
They crystallized into images, into sounds,
The sounds you hear.

From my village I came to the empire
To escape the violence,
To flee the blood
Avoid the fire,
The destruction, the squalor

My life never
Had beauty
My family knew only hunger

I prayed to the gods for help
And the omnipotent millenarians
One day showed themselves
And granted me a voyage
To the land of enchantment
To the cornucopia of material goods
To the paradise of abundance.

My simple job I mastered quickly
All I had to do was feed the monster
Three times a day, six times a week.
Polish his scales, clean his teeth,
Sharpen his fangs once a month,
Keep his powerful claws
Strong and deadly, his aim precise.

My dream came true
My life flourished and my family too
The empire gave us television,
Bicycles and food
We had shoes, jeans and a radio
My son Francisco worked with me
Learning the only thing the Mayans
Know how to do well in the empire
Feed the monsters

The rough winter
Sought refuge in our home
Chac and Kukulcan visited us
But the owners of the monster
Did not want to give us heat.
We had enough already …!
A roof, work, and electricity
What more could we want?

Late came the spring
With flowers and warm caresses,
With promises of golden horizons,
With huge multi-colored fish
That ended up in the monster’s stomach

That’s how one day when I was
Cleaning his scales, polishing his teeth
Without wanting to I touched his steel body,
Without realizing it I moved his dark tentacles,
Without knowing it I awakened him from his dream

The monster opened its metal jaws
I lost my balance and screamed in distress
My words were not heard
Only the infernal noise of the animal moving
writhing, rising and advancing towards me

Huge shiny knives,
Teeth that devour fish and whales,
Jaws, fangs, well-oiled claws
in perfect synchronization
In absurd perfection, mechanical and unforgiving.

Horrified I screamed in my language
As its steel blades cut my feet
Its teeth ground my knees
Its claws demolished my bones
And blood escaped from my body

I felt its frozen stomach
Slitting my own stomach
And I screamed in the most enormous pain,
The most distressing words,
At the incomprehensible tragedy
Of being devoured slowly
By a production machine,
By that monster I had cared for
With so much effort, with so much care.

My vision got dim and blurry
I could distinguish only
Francisco’s horrified eyes
The cries of the owners
And then the silence
The agony
The indescribable pain
The meeting with Yum Cimil

I awoke bathed in the sun of my ancestors
Enveloped in the original light of Kinich Ahau
From there I contemplated the world of suffering
That I had just left
From that luminosity I sent my words
That Kukulcan spread to the four winds

Simple words
Strong words
Wise words
Words that if they do not touch your heart
It’s because you lost it
In the aridity of abundance,
In the meaninglessness of the inverted life.

I died feeding the monster
May my death serve to make you reflect on your life
May this tragedy serve to make you ask yourself
What monster do I feed?
May my words serve as a warning
As memory and reminder
Of the need to humanize the conditions
In which we, the multitudes, find ourselves.

Portland Oregon, August 6, 1999