Lady Xoc

By | 16 August 2019

8th Century, Mayan

You’re supposed to say shoke but I like shock.

Lady Shock.

Who drew a spiked rope through her
offering tongue to
burn blood
into the threads of bark paper, coax

a smoke―

so she could froth up
the Vision Snake…

In this particular design

the Snake has two. The lower

disgorges a warrior-god and the upper the ancestral

Two mouths: you’d think,
two opposite positions. You’d think she faced

a breaking choice:



For wisdom she went to a fanged mouth,
Lady Shock.

So she could answer
a trick question: man or god

of war―

I like
how honest they were, the old


Look how she kneels
in tranced adoration, the long spear pointed

at her brow.

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