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I’ve always been fascinated by Mayan glyphs, especially this one from Yaxchilan, known as the “Vision Serpent.” The vision serpent opened the portal between the physical world and the spirit realm, and through bloodletting rituals was the medium through which one could communicate with the gods and ancestors.

A few years ago, at a Han Dynasty exhibit at the Asian Art Museum, I was stuck by the graphic similarities between Chinese jade dragons and Mayan serpent glyphs, created thousands of miles away from each other over a thousand years ago.

This made me think of living in the big mezcla, and the roots we bring with us to the modern cultural cosmopolis, hence, MXTO. Those letters, floating on my tongue, brought other associations to mind: Mexico MX, the gender neutral Mx, and Chinese Taikonauts, all in the big mezcla we carry imprinted on our bodies.