It happened the evening of the blood moon--
like the recurring nightmare I had as a child
of loose molars, missing teeth, bleeding gums.
The ground yanked, pulled, swallowed,
leaving the people with spaces and damaged roots--
leaving them scavenging the dirt for the
missing pieces, because even if there was enough bone,
implants would not suffice,
as they are not the ones that were protected,
taken care of, and made strong.
A pain unlike childbearing,
lingering after drinking breast milk.
To be born again,
to grow new teeth,
while keeping the fallen ones-- if found-- in a bag
underneath a pillow.
Carry them in a dream, a nightmare,
and when awakened find comfort in the sounds of the quena,
playing a new lullaby comprised of old motifs.
To learn to live again in the midst of the rubble.
To close your eyes and weep for what is lost.
To open them and see what is left:
a man giving away his pastelitos,
a child embracing his mother,
hands held in prayer,
an Andean condor flying across the skies,
stretching its wings.