What was there before the map

Before he passed away, an interview
with one of the oldest survivors from
that time: What do you remember, Apu?

—Lemon groves, moss-slippered caves, terraced
plots for grain. The ancestors ate from plates
of beaten brass and gold. When soldiers came

to clear our land for their new city, they ordered us
to move our homes from the presidencia. We could live
farther away, on the outskirts. Or else they’d shoot

the animals: our chickens and pigs, our horses
and goats. How then could we continue honoring
the gods? They carved roads through our mountain

fastnesses, built churches and depots and schools.
They talked of all the great new changes coming
while quarry stones skittered down the gorge.


In response to Via Negativa: Colonial.

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