Blasphemies for San Simón

Pilgrims, we enter your sanctum
through a courtyard of hungry kittens,
unstable helices of flies,
hermetic diagrams on the walls
glimpsed in passing.

Within you reign imperious
over the ghosts of a thousand melted prayers.
Your priest stirs the charring blood-resin smoke
of a caramelizing axis mundi
in celestial dyed sugar,
compass rose symmetry of hen’s eggs,
murmurs a litany
to your holiest of places and incarnations—

“San Simón de San Andrés Xecúl…
San Simón de Zunil…
San Simón de Santiago Atitlán…
San Simón de San Andrés Itzapa…
San Simón de Nahualá…
San Simón de San Jorge La Laguna…

“Volcán Tajamulco…
Volcán Santa María…
Volcán Santiaguito…
Volcán Pacaya…
Volcán Chicabal…
Volcanes de Agua y de Fuego…”

Maximón,
you beautiful bastard!
Maximón,
vindictive and beneficent
in your blessings and curses!
I imagine you
sitting by some crossroad
not far from Hell,
in resplendent motley, mustachios
and stunna-shades glinting,
sharing a joint
and a flask of firewater
with your old friend Papa Legba,
telling dirty jokes, whistling
ancient lecher, you accost
our passing souls, laughing,
“Pinches gringos turistas
hijos de la gran puta…”
while Saint Judas hangs out
nearby in his olive tree,
watching with mournful X’s
in his eyes…

San Simón de San Andrés Xecúl…
Volcán Chicabal…
Infinite Iximulew,
I offer you nothing
but these dozen white candles,
and this black flower makes thirteen.

Maximón in San Andrés Xecúl, Guatemala, December 2007

Maximón in San Andrés Xecúl, Guatemala, December 2007

About cascadiasolidaria

Human rights and solidarity activist from Cascadia, North America, writing about issues of justice and security in Guatemala and Central America from a perspective of solidarity with human rights and social movements.
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