Our Eternal Home Is Not on Earth

David Bowles
3 min readJun 1, 2024

The thirteenth cuicatl in Songs of the Lords of Anahuac, my English translation of the codex Romances de los señores de la Nueva España.

They are arranged like blooms
in the House of Flowers,¹
where friendship, hospitality,
and nobility are assembled.²
Virtuous words³ that please the soul —
the princes entertain themselves.

With flowers they are interwoven,⁴
with songs they are threaded together.⁵
Virtuous words that please the soul —
the princes entertain themselves.

Into garlands your flowers⁶
are twisted, you princes —
the virtuous words
that you pronounce,
you princes.

I come weeping.
I come full of pity.⁷
For I am but a singer
and shall not carry
our flowers away.
If only I could go
shrouded with them
to the Place of Shorn!⁸
Oh, I ache for you all!⁹

Ah! Just like the flowers
that are found on Earth —
Briefly, for but a while,
do we come to borrow
these pleasurable blooms.
Take delight in them!
Oh, I ache for you all!



David Bowles

A Mexican American author & translator from South Texas. Teaches literature & Nahuatl at UTRGV. President of the Texas Institute of Letters.