Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Temuco

The air always smelled of spring.
Kiosks inhabited most corners, hawking sodas, papers, candy, and trading albums.
The streets were dirty.

The hill was magically remote,
Climbing cliffs, collecting copihues, careening down the twisting road.
Danger lurked there, but we never found it.

Walking home,
The buses and puddles were the only hazard, after the riots were gone.
How even that war zone had been safe.

At night, we searched for the phantom lanterns.
They stayed just out of reach.
So we lit the place up ourselves, warring with roman candles,
Or better: elaborate hide and seek, with no lights at all.

Torre Caupulican was a building, the tallest in town.
Ironically named, as it towered pointing to the sky,
Off the avenue of the same name running through town.
Ironic in that the Indian who’s namesake it was,
Won chieftain status totting a tower of a trunk for three days,
Then ended his days as the Spanish sat him on a similar stake, pointing to the sky.

How this time capsule changed.
What had been a place of safe past,
Caught up with the world before I left.

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