When Our Lady of Guadalupe arrived, she was heartbroken. At her feet, a pigeon crushed under the weight of a Ford 4×4, its wingspan outstretched, preserved in its own feathers & blood. She couldn’t discern a skull, just a small boundary between where death was stamped onto concrete & where it wasn’t.
After 600 years, this wasn’t the first thing she wanted to see. Of course, she expected loss, but not its bones like Galveston seashells—you can barely find a lightning whelk or moon snail in one piece on those shores. Texas carelessness.
In the chapel built for her, there was cookware with intricate paintings on them. Juan Diego worked eight hours decorating a stone plate with roses, before there was a word for “art.” Another plate was adorned with Cuitlacoche comun’s delicacy, gray & arched like a wave. Her tilma wasn’t art. It wasn’t a sign or even a map. It was the future in bright red echoes.
Humanity, Guadalupe thought, was more like the stubborn laughing chihuahuas, not like Mexico City canaries & their stupid wistfulness. She crouched closer to the ground to examine the bird atlas, wept in ribbons & tributaries.