Colony

In every town, a public square and monuments
whitened in patches by lime and bird droppings; 

streets and bridges named after those who came
in galleons. They banished to the outskirts 

shamans and native priestesses, then pressed 
plow and yoke onto the farmers' backs. Next

came the building of churches and cathedrals,
fantasy of fountains and pulpits painted over

with clouds of putti and gold. An altar boy 
would set the censer into its little dialectic 

swing: forward and back, curling clouds 
of incense smoke until it came to rest again.

The walls, it's said, were set with agramasa---
a paste of mortar: powdered brick, sand, ground

husks, the whites of hundreds and hundreds of eggs. 
The oldest of these still stand, down to their bell 

towers: crumbling like sugar paste, but somehow 
made almost desirable in their surrender to time.  

The footnotes we write, the margin notes, will say
we come to hate and love what history has made of us.



 


 

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