A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2008, vol 4 no 4

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Bruce Ross


We had ditched our backpacks in the hotel and were enjoying burritos in this authentic Mexican restaurant while I looked once again at a reproduction of some pre-Columbian images with a border of writhing serpents. For dessert I had a soy latte at Pete’s Coffee. I had been reading about how the Incas conceived of different astrological figures than what we recognize as the zodiac: llamas, foxes, and the like, and see a causal relationship between, say, the star llamas and the real ones. I wondered if the giant stone and earth figures of a spider and other creatures, the Nazca lines, on the low plain beneath the Andes were some as yet undiscovered zodiac. I stare at the figures identified as Central American petroglyph images here in my hand.

paper coffee cup
a monkey and dog cavort
with a star

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