Even queens had to pierce their tongues
and light fire to their blood-soaked prayers.
The heavy smoke drifted skyward,
then dissipated between the snaky vines.
Visions, once conjured, had nothing to reveal.
There is no redemption.
No one has seen heaven.
Her name, carved into towering stelae,
crumbled along with her bones.
No one remembers her sons;
her cities lie split by roots and brambles.
The days have been counted,
things put in order, secrets
stored deeply inside caves
or buried beneath temples with trapdoors.
Still they come, centuries later
to rip it all out again,
believing that to decipher
means to know.
The gods are hungry,
the daimons hungrier.
The insatiable future
stuffs scripture, now profane,
into its gaping mouth.