Thirteenth Level of Heaven

I carefully unwrap
shells from our trip to the foot
of the once Mayan
Yucatan, place them in the sink
well. I wash sand
down the drain, white
sand we tracked back to
hotels in towns with Spanish
names—Merida, Valladolid,
Playa Del Carmen—sand
that pushed between
toes in the Caribbean, now
in the hollow of steel.
Conch song rises up
to meet me inside the pink,
onto the stairs
down into sacred
cenote—cut papaya in a bowl,
marquesitas, the playas, boys
running in broken
streets with no shoes,
hammocks swinging above the dirt floor
of chanting, the rain of dreams
driving headlong into
colors. Listen! Deeper inside
the ear, deeper into
the gyre: a patch of neon
water, the nose of the Sky Snake,
a skull filled with daisies,
Dia de los Muertos,
a face as thin as cracked
ice, planting seeds
from the dried gourd that holds
all the secrets of the chokol,
burning the milpa, pushing
into the day of silences, into the overlap,
time sifted finer than before it started,
well before I started, here, before I
tried to catch sand
in my hands.

© Terri Muuss

View guest contributor Terri Muuss’ bio HERE


I curate The Poet by Day, and am a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. The Poet by Day [] is an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights. Email for permissions, commissions, or assignments. I am also the founding editor of "The BeZine" and manage all associated actives there. Email:

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