Magical Realist Cafe

Chichen Itza

we slipped through a chain-link fence

as the bus sped off up a tunnel of night

one floodlight spliced the dark

a dog barked sharp

there was no going back

we crossed into woods beyond


startled awake, or was it a dream

tap tapping rain, tropical sweat

hunted prey on the ground

the dog, peering down

the dog,

the dog.

no questions asked

leading us astray

over damp silent grass

on invisible string we followed the dog

to a looming ladder of stone

into a void of sky

at the top the dog disappeared

we were held captive



spreadeagled before dawn

until dark drained away like blood dried cold

a symphonic mist rose

to purify the day


hours later, concealed in the trees

we woke again

emerging as tourists,

demigods in disguise


Diana Milia, 2023