The Workers of Macchu Picchu
Like corn, the mortals were husked in the bottomless
granary of forgotten deeds, miserable events,
from one o’clock to seven, to eight,
and not one but many deaths came to each:
every day a small death—dust, worm, lamp
snuffed in the slums of mud—a small thick-winged death
entered each laborer like a short lance,
and these men were driven by bread and by the knife,
by the rancher, son of the seaports, dark captain of the plow,
like rodents of overrun streets:
all weakened waiting for their death, their brief daily death;
and the fateful ageing and fading of each day was
a black cup from which, all trembling, they drank.
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Featured image: Macchu Pichu, Peru by Alicia M Hernandez. CC license.