“A Room in the Museum”

In Teotihuacán, we walk on sheets of glass, thick enough to sustain our heavy heels as we tread the sky of the model Aztec city beneath us, scaled and laid out like a blanket. Outside, there are ruins. In here, things are complete, and we arrive centuries too late to partake in rituals, to indulge in cacao and war. But I can reach you by way of this fading Avenue of the Dead, a long stretch of pretend gravel littered with moss and plastic Aztecs frozen in poses that suggest the coming of Quetzalcoatl. Most, with mouths agape, crouch, while some, with arrows poised, ready to break the surface of glass, resemble jaguars feeding. Others, still as the ruins, with paint across their brows, and rows of feathers down each arm are too afraid to even open their eyes.

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Juan Luis Guzmán earned an MFA from California State University, Fresno. A member of the Macondo Writers Workshop, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in several literary journals including BorderSenses and Huizache. He is a 2012 CantoMundo Fellow and teaches writing and composition near Selma, CA, where he makes his home.

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