The guard asked 5 quetzals for the entry.
Now, I had too many scraps of paper in my pockets.
I got them all out and tried to read but couldn’t.
Listen, dude, I said then, How come you expect me to have quetzals in this country?
I can give you eleven francs instead.
But he didn’t like the idea.
Just put your francs straight up your ass, you old fruitcake, he said.
I was going to reply to that when a guy who desperately pretended being a hunchback
came up and asked him to let me in.
As a fucking exception, he added.
I put the scraps back into the pockets one by one
and we proceeded to the lobby.

Amethyst was the issue of the evening.
Crystals were everywhere. Hundreds, thousands of them,
on the windowsills, tables, on and under the chairs,
on the floor, even in the sinks, the urinals,
and on the toilet lids in the restrooms.
The delegates sauntered with amethysts stuck to the temples
and insteps, trying to communicate with the intraplanetary avian race
and 19th-century table turners.
Unlit chandeliers creaked and scratched the ceiling.
People slept leaning against the walls,
whispered deliberately distorted mantras while bearing in mind the correct ones.
A woman with a smug sad exhausted expression on her face
was saying that tonight we had a rare opportunity
to see clearly both Mars and Venus up in the sky,
but we would rather not because of the rabbits and squirrels
and awakening robots on the lawns and parking lots, everywhere,
and it’s cold anyway.
Pseudo-Archilochus demonstrated to a young deaf centauress
how she could prepare her clients for her gut-wrenching stunts
by drawing the letter Omega over their bodies with an amethyst.
She yawned but not out of boredom.