The Aztec believed that the defeat of Quetzalcoatl by Tezcatlipoca marked the beginning of the current era of creation.
British Museum display notes
As he raised his glass
deep inside the mountain
to the fishes of the cities
and the tears of the iguana,
fragments of shadows dropped from the clouds
and blazed like crazy arrows of light,
peeling back fields of skin,
uprolling whole plains
beyond carmine horizons,
infinities of crimson.
Within the mountain’s shadow
he breathed on sun-struck glass
until it splintered,
spitting shards of light,
splitting tears of tortured cities,
flicking open the jaguar’s claws,
dragging death out on to the open plain
for execution by rainbow or moonlight,
as the iguana,
in its unassailable green tower,
©David Urwin 2018
First published in PENfro Poets 2013. Eds. Peter George & Brenda Squires. Menter Rhosygilwen, 2013.