with a birther’s goo, it 
    gleams up green from the ground—  

Little blade.  

How much toil, to split the sealed doors
    of the mother—  

And scrape up
    through rock and clay, the hard sharp March  
    of the ground—  
    our little god, our flayed lord.  


Xipe Totec (shee-pay toh-tek) appears in Aztec art as a human figure wearing a tunic of human skin.

The hand-skins flop prominently below his elbows, and his human face, usually grinning, peers out through the eye slits and mouth hole of a skinned-face mask.  

He was a god of transitions, oppositions.  

After which the rotting skin was removed, and a “new” human
being appeared.          


—in the shimmer,
   their hummingbird cloaks, their  

plumed heads
   as they ran toward slaughter—flowers  

in riot on a field—  

They flayed the slain captives’ skins and wore them, dyed
   “golden clothes”—to impersonate Spring’s  

   Skinless Lord—  

conjure a power I wanted. You know,  

to make the corn stand up. Piercing the hard-pan
   inside my head, new self  


   green and scored—  

Died. My sister died. In the fourth year
   of parentless night.  

Aztec blood-drinking, why should I oppose it? Or put down
   my proper


   terror of the earth—