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From "Twelve Gates to the City"


Bill Shute


V    SONORA, 5 August 1997


For seven dollars an hour

     I lead travelers through the

           Caverns of Sonora, three miles,


Many paths, many directions, all of them

     Uncharted. Five groups per day,

            Five days a week. There is


A legend of a beast who lives

     In the caverns. Iím told

            Iíll receive a bonus if I


Ever find it and slay it with a camera.


Without sunlight, the light of

The Christ illuminates our journey

And the course seems charted. My

Headache dissipates and the caverns

Of my mind fill with warm scents


Of palm oil, of figs, of mint,

Of cinnamon. When the tour

Concludes, we come to the surface.

Thirsty , we pass the cup and thirteen

Drink from it. As above, so below.


When the vehicles of the travelers

Break down, they have no choice but

To stop here. The train made its

Last stop in 1977. A raven makes

Its home above the abandoned station, waiting




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