I stand high above the plaza,
triumphant after my slow and careful ascent
up the steep ladder-like steps
to the top of the pyramid
where ancient priests
unsheathed their obsidian knives,
the black blades begging for blood.
Height begets power.
I begin to feel kingship,
feel for my plumed crown.
Looking down on the plaza
I see the ceremony of architecture,
space, upright stele and high stepped forms,
rain softened relief.
This is the Jaguar Pyramid.
I wear the jaguar cloak and quetzal plumes,
inhale incense of copal.
Looking down on the plaza,
I see the crowds looking up,
not in fear or faith, but wonder
at the tall noble towers
and the impulse of their vanished lords.
I am one of them,
one of the time travelers.
I relinquish my plumes.
We are explorers from another dimension
clambering over these stones,
astonished by the implicit authority
of high stepped towers,
huge carved stones
and their austere beauty.
I return to my time.
Climbing down is harder than going up.