Cibola 43

This entry is part 42 of 119 in the series Cibola

Esteban (2) (cont’d)

Sending his thoughts
ahead of him like this, Esteban
startles. Sunlight glances
off something way out in
the middle of the scrub, & rounding
a covert, he can make out
a crumpled shape.
A body.

He picks his way slowly over:
if a plant isn’t brandishing spears
it’s set to burst underfoot–
willing to wait beyond death itself
for ecstasy.

Curled up like a fawn on
the bare ground, a boy of ten
or twelve, eyes shut, mouth open.
Esteban lays two fingers against
the throat just below the jaw
& counts. At three the first
weak beat, the next at seven.
No sign of an injury. Laid out
at his head & feet & to either side
four crystals: black to the west,
blue to the south, translucent
to the east & to the north
a rose-colored quartz–the one
that glinted.
Esteban sees it then: a trap,
the boy both bait & hunter.
He backs away.

__________

black to the west… These are the colors associated with the sacred directions in O’odham/Hohokam cosmology, not Zuni cosmology

The individualistic power quest on the part of shamans and shamans-in-training was a feature of O’odham (and presumably Hohokam) religiosity; in Zuni (Shiwanna), such an extra-institutional quest would almost certainly be identified with sorcery

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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