Mary Mackey

The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams

Up on the Orinoco, Rio Negro, Solimões,
Tocantins, Xingu, Javary
they’re drinking the bebida preta / black drink   
snake vine  ayahuasca / yage /    blood of the great anaconda
with the smoke of burning rainforests in their nostrils 
and o gosto de cinzas / taste of ashes on their tongues

Eles estão comendo    they’re eating 
purple snails    powdered viper venom
lagartas esmagadas    flowers that dye their lips
the color of blood    singing of cities of blue glass   
and the jaguars that prowl our dreams

O que mais / what else     are they seeing?
O que mais / what else       do they know?

they’re not saying
they’re not telling
they’re calling on the ghost tribes instead

ghosts of the Tupinambá, Tupiniquim, Aimoré
lost upriver    forever
lost in the burning world