7 August

Little Guadalupe image east on the hill. She stands on a black crescent moon & appears, apparition, to kneeling Juan Diego who met her outside Mexico City, 9 December 1531. Tiny white church full of slant sunlight. What old adoration tells me get down on your knees? Incense & liturgy, the human heart momentarily soothed in its torment. Near the altar a few curanderos. Time to retrace our steps down whitewashed stone stairs into town.

Wood smoke hangs in the breezeless air. We eat posole with rough pork in a small shop, back it with tequila and beer. A cold hard mist sits on the distant grey pine hills. Winding along through middle-class streets admiring the old painted Colonial doors we're teased by two girls about eight or nine selling Chamula dolls. Tiny traditional things the length of a finger, in rough black raiment but ski masks conceal terracotta faces, big spooky eyes gazing through.

"Si, Subcomandante Maria. Y Marcos! Three pesos."

    Up north no one told us
      of lady subcomandantes
    the girls giggle

    crude wooden
    guns in the doll fists

Andrew Schelling | 8 August
Contents | Mudlark No. 9