The Urubamba rushes toward its end
without the slightest care for what’s to come.
A solitary piper on a dust-
filled street in town puffs out his fate – it’s gone.
Big-kerneled corn grows dry and strong in sun –
Take some to save against what jars may come.
A bowl of coca leaves can soften some
the stones and bones of every passing hour.
Thin air sublimes my thoughts and makes them rare,
for heaven tells no more than these high peaks.
Red plastic bag like refuse marks the chicheria,
its benches half the width of my behind.
This shed I think was built in just a day –
a few good kicks would turn it to debris,
and yet I think the place must serve up hope.
I’m seated with the rest to seek my share.
A chicheria is an unlicensed establishment
selling the indigenous people’s homemade
beer, usually based in corn.
Alpaca shepherd spins out yarn, one eye
upon his beasts. That turning spool reflects
all other turnings great and small and thus
he keeps his balance on this turning globe.