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Guatemala
by
Sally Domingue


AWAY FROM HERE. Inhaling deeply of spices and thing I cannot put words to. As a freshman I went to Guatemala on a humanities trip. Scared and thrilled. Everything was different and nothing was like here. OR it was like looking into a future where culture was reversed. Where McDonald's had a rainforest ambushing its civilized neon yellow lights. It was beautiful. The mountains. Masses of rock jutting unimaginably high and forever part of the horizon. A volcano, long dead and glazed with snow, looms across the water. It mimics our universe on the ocean: expanding until it collapses and infinitely small again, an hourglass flipped every five billion years. Stepping into the onyx Pacific liquid. Rings vibrate from my ankles. Somewhere a star was dying with its own rings of heat. I absorbed the bluish glow of the sliced moon. No longer dying as I had been, but feeling myself as small on this planet - still not content to be what I was, happy that my nurturer was ancient.

On a balmy breeze it flies. A superfluous creature, undetectable in the wind. Wraps itself around the girl standing like a mermaid given legs in the abyss of the Pacific. She inhales, desperate yet calm, this life. The creature curls in her chest beneath her ruby heart. It radiates a deep crimson luminance against the creature's wings. Shimmering to each other in the singing language. Exhale. It peers far into her dark eyes - they are part of the ocean, small pools birthed to her. Shimmers away. Glances back. She hasn't detected its presence and stands with a fixed gaze on the volcano. She felt it. Her heart growing warm and the flicker of starlight - brilliant for a second. A half-second in time. Her pupils adjusted in a twitch to focus on the flutter of light.

The moon has hypnotized me through the slow breeze shifting the palm tree fronds. A wind, that's all. No being. It harmony rung in her mind, as chilling as an old deja vu remembered.

Visit the author's site at: http://i.am/TheChildEmpress

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