Hardtops sit sun-roasted in rows
on a plain of asphalt: at its far end,
a megachurch in session.
My Ford Feo’s a.c. eats horsepower.
Eliseo doesn’t sweat this jungle weather,
dew points he knew in the Yucatan.
We stop at a nearby barbecue joint.
I drench burnt ends with sauce,
gnaw corn off a cob.
Insults and onion rings fly up front.
Eliseo, over salad, notes that diets
of big lies lead to bloodletting.
We leave at dusk. The vast lot’s empty.
Some Classic Maya sites of worship
were angled toward August sunsets,
Eliseo says. Their star-priests foresaw
one last lap of the Pleiades
and simply killed their calendar.
MARTIN SHAPIRO’S poems have been published in the Potomac Review, Delmarva Review (Pushcart-nominated), Pilgrimage, After Happy Hour, Gargoyle, WWPH Writes, Thieving Magpie, District Lit, and other literary magazines. He is putting together a full-length manuscript and a chapbook. Originally from Kansas City, he earned his M.L.S. at the University of Pittsburgh and has worked at public, university, and museum libraries in New York City and Washington, D.C. Now retired, he lives in Montgomery County, Maryland.