Jaguar, Night Sun
Jaguar, Night Sun
We were broken by change. Related to movement.
Once, part of an ecosystem, our style of living
adapted to unstable environments. Dwelling, a habit
lost to us. Disconnected from breath, and from air –
therefore, each other.
Tezcatlipoca (the (blood-) Jewelled Fowl)
My sister, the smoking mirror, suffered. She could not tell me on account
of why. La Menaza, they called her, night prowler. Scourge in the moonlight.
Leader, warrior, monster: Shapeshifter. A vision enhanced by darkness.
She saw things they did not understand yet – groping as they were,
by choice, for nocturnal skies inside their heart’s fog of blood.
Let’s live together, Smoking Mirror. Devouring crocodile, snake,
monkey, deer, frog, and anything else we can catch for ourselves.
To conserve is to survive together – by holding on.
Becoming half-jaguar, half-human, and enemies of both.
Walk with me sister, monster, thru light-dappled leaves.
We can’t deny our bodies, belonging. Strung
by muscular will, and the muscular, undulating
hungers. We can’t deny…
what our bodies remember; the hunting.
Stripped, spotted, glaring in the eye.
Enemy of Both Sides
We think of the underworld as beneath us – a reflection, or faded symmetrical counterpart, an impression by folded ink blot. Biologists make their homes in the jaguar’s habitat, dedicate their livelihood to protecting it, going decades without catching sight of her.
We set up cameras – called camera traps – on property purchased (for conservation purposes) with hopes of capturing her on film. We tied them to trees, and dug stakes into the packed mud terrain. Waiting, we forgot about the traps. And forgo her. Turning focus onto other futures, we assume they exclude her.
Jaguar, 4-5 years old, female, big. Photographed via camera trap, walking in our finca.
Her shape is obscured by foliage gradients. From our vantage point, she walks away from us. She does not see us. How could she recognize our galvanized electronic form as something other than taking up space?
We capture and release her image – and, she surveils another night in uncertain peace.