Author: Juan J. Morales

If I lived hundreds of years ago

I would beg passersby to exhume

the temple’s lost fountainhead,

where sacred water

once rose from unknown wells.

I would remind them we must nurture

our desiccated gardens

even if it’s too late.


I would curse those

who subtracted pious flagstones

and wish throats

filled with silt

to mourn forgotten waters

below Cuzco’s foundation.


I would apologize

to those who never quenched

thirst. Scold parents

for failing to recall the network

of gold pipes under

Cuzco’s haciendas and crooked streets.

How can our children ever taste

a fresh lick of rain offered

by the Gods?

My priests object

to how I stare you

out of the sky,

how I defy

your blaze.


I felt your arms

melting away nights

in exchange

for our meager

offerings, but I worry

about your tired


shafts of heat, unable

to rest in the dark, familial plains.

My vision blurs,

but I resist blinking

when I look


into your stinging void

where your black, wavering

sphere blots inside

your white hot,

leaving me to wonder

if you serve another.