The Shadows of Machu Picchu
Perhaps the leavers left secrets behind,
too heavy even for gravity to carry down
the mountain, but only wind and echoes
could tell the story of a city too high,
floating in the thin air of empires.
Walls, temples, and altars could not
sacrifice enough to last nor leave
footprints we might follow to the past.
Only the sense of loss lives here now.
Echoes sound like versions of a truth
told not by blood but by its absence,
not by war but by the state of ruin.
Perhaps the voices of Incan ghosts
still bounce off the walls, still chant
in the high winds, mourning the chaos below,
the clang and clatter of bearded men
riding beasts, seeking gold, shooting fire
and smoke from their long fingers.
Maybe even spirits can taste their own
blood, remember why they bit their tongues
and bowed to white gods who took
centuries to reach the top, found
this lost city but not its gold
except for sunlight making shadows
from these highest walls.