The Subtle Imprint


It appeared out of a dream

like the clay embryo of the sun

drawn over crystal waters.

It coalesces with rain

rippling the shimmering surface

of a day’s meditation

and if the indigo of ancient lakes

ever empties into darkness,

the people along the edges are there to gather,

in the places myths are still told

and out of the spoken word behold

a sky that is slowly born again.

There is an origin

to where the museum ends

and real life begins.

What is left of a dwindling offering?

Where wet hillsides and rivers twist

in stone sunrise and verdant mist,

through reverberating valleys

of earth and abode,

coils of smoke expelled

from exposed terre cotta,

rooftops that appear broken

from under the weight of the sky.


It appeared out of the corner of the eye,

these stairways that lead to the sun.

Figures moving out of the shade

on aching limbs that had just begun

to acclimate to the reverance

forming along the paths of an ancient host.

There were holes in the cliffs of empty graves,

ghosts passing through the outposts of whisper,

beyond the Incan windows of wind,

witnessing the wails

still captive upon the terraced emptiness

that conquers the walls

of perfectly geometric bricks.

Soon twilight is carved by the Urubamba.

Sacred valleys remain where they settled,

receiving a glimpse in the shadow of the tours,

the subtle imprint of ancestors.


It appeared spread before

these temples to the sun.

What has been lost?

What has been won?

These patterns of taking

destined to be repeated

long after the forms subside.

Spirits still pass through the openings

long after the conquerors divide.

Sacred pouches still sprinkle the rain

from a halo of cloud

obscuring with its shroud

all the messages from the unknown,

scrawled in cryptic symbols across the stone,

this venerable home of perfect symmetry.

Pass through the arches, look to the gods,

we are where we are meant to be.



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