Photographer's Note

Sultry night vibrates to bongo’s beat, the guitar strums
Of lonesome heat. Last night; Palenque; camp-fire breaths;
Shadow of matted blond quivers underneath.
Beer bubbles; the heart sings; the night is full,
With such fullness as last nights can bring.

She was in the eye, a swirl of blue surround,
She floated right below the crest, then went around;
The wave broke in boisterous bubbles, the head bobbed,
Breath abated we waited. I saw her swim
Ashore, the long board swung, with an easy stride,
She shook back her mane. A waif in the
Blue, an ethereal sprite, she smiled at Pedro
Who lay on the sand nursing his silent bongo.

We shook, said hello, she in a soft English
Wanted to know my town; so we did reliish
Corona under the umbrella; the sun's pleasant,
The gulf warm, waves full, distant water a mirror;
She spoke of beaches by the west of Spain,
Of Moorish towns and Barbery vale.
I venture: Why not Chiapas, see the fabled stones
Of Mayan adventure? Ruinas, they say in those shores.

So we rent a compact, long-board fastened tight,
We leave Merida the following night.
Three on board we pay the toll,
Of roads paved sometimes, often not at all.
We tumble along over myriad speed bumps,
Lined on occasion with trained machine guns,
They in front and I lie in the back,
We sing and laugh, we clap and slap.
We wave at horses with men on back.
We drive past swamps, dark, and banana groves,
Across loving maize farms tilled by Mayan blokes.
Past backyards of rooster and pecking hen,
Of wallowing pigs in mud and in pen,
Our compact rolls towards Chiapas’ bend,
Where the plains end at the forest’s edge
Where the warm rains nurse a jungle dense.

Palenque, at last! A nondescript town of three roads
That fork past an overstated lawn, of power line
And grimy taqueria, with smell deliciously fine.
We eat, we haggle with Mayan women
Piggybacking piles of colored bale,
Women who laugh at her matted hair,
And stare
at her foreign ways and scanty flair.
So she buys an earring, three wristbands; we cast
Our heads with indulgent air. We drive at last,
Packed in the car, to the Ruinas, of Paqual fame;
But first we must pay pesos to military male.

On the steps of the pyramid, she excitedly
Climbs; Pedro follows, uncertain at times.
She stops at the top and scans the horizon,
At the tangle of trees past the ancient mansion.
They hug and kiss, on the steps of Paqual,
To remember the heady days of youth’s enthrall.
We visit the caves, the temples, the alter,
Where young maids once lay in sacrificial torpor.
Then the night falls. We pitch our tents by
The forest’s edge, make fire, sing, and lie
Under a starry sky by the ancient mansion,
As I listen to the chorus of howlers’ passion.
[Read on in the fictional travelogue for the rest of this parody!]

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Additional Photos by Animesh Ray (AnimeshRay) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 689 W: 44 N: 846] (9089)
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