Bus ride to Nazca
(A Positive and Negative Perspective on the Landscape)
by Michael Waite
Lima fades away, the land is able to breathe again
Without the weight of asphalt, its dry, dusty chest rising and falling
In the still air. There are some structures scattered on the landscape,
A whitewashed house or a wall beckoning the highway with bright painted letters,
But wild emptiness easily outnumbers these ruins.
Slowly they crumble and rebelliously return to the sand.
Something came here, something massive and implacable
Stopped and rested its terrible bones.
Was it one fell swoop or a subtle creep over the years?
Does it matter? The result is the result.
Pitiful remnants of towns, missing walls and inhabitants.
Dry riverbeds lined with trash left for the birds.
Survivors go from day to day with the skeletons in full view.
Sometimes they whisper in the candlelight, when even the cantina
Has gone to sleep, careful not to scare the children
Or summon the return of that which took their friends away.