Your Garlands Are Woven

David Bowles
6 min readJun 8, 2024

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

One with egret plumes¹
stirs flowers,
draws down songs
from your home,
O Giver of Life,²
“Take delight!”
I say right here.

Perhaps even northward,
toward the Land of the Dead.³
Perhaps there you go get them,
you Chichimec princes,
once they too are released on earth.
“Take delight!”
I say right here.

People emerge and return.
They are awaited here
within this House of Spring,⁴
beside the drums.
For just a time
did Tenocelotzin⁵
come to live,
his ears and hands
like flowers from the start.
Your words are gathered
in bundles of twenty garlands,⁶
O Tlaltzin,⁷ O Chiyauhcoatzin!⁸
No one lives twice:⁹
It seems the Giver of Life
is tormented by friendship
here on Earth.



David Bowles

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