Monday, April 14, 2008


The guide joked that the island far below but not far from shore, the one where Cortez landed, was nicknamed the island of gull poop, perhaps some poetic justice for the Mexicans. We were visiting the ancient gravestones of the local Totanaca. In front of one thousand-year-old tomb a fresh palm leaf offering. An occupant’s moral health was displayed in the miniature steps in front of the stone. The more steps, the more sins to overcome. And the soul’s escape from the body was provided for, not unlike that of Tibetan ritual. I would later notice them in the stones displayed in the pristine setting of the local museum.

Totanaca gravestone
out of the soul hole
a tiny gecko

by Bruce Ross
Bangor, Maine

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