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April 2013, vol 9, no 1

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Mark Kaplon

Day-Trek Outside Anduan

I followed in Fernando's footsteps over the southern flank of Volcan Paricutin. In the deep lava sand my eighty-year-old guide's every footprint vanished in an instant, like a wrinkle across the sky un-wrinkling. Once we reached the rim of the crater, we gazed into red colored sands which swirled, spiraled, and emptied out at the nadir of the dormant pit. After a climb which lasted over an hour, we descended the slope in minutes, our each foot firmly rooted in the liquid-flowing lava-sands. Back on the black rock of the flatlands, Fernando led me again toward the trees of his outlying village. Here and there, I began to perceive the signs of twigs he'd snapped on the way out.

blazing his way
the old guide's back, gone
criss-cross of branches