by Louis Gallo

The Conquistador draws his crossbow
on a green parrot and terminates
the ancien regime.
He chops off the hands
of five thousand heathens,
bears fifteen poisoned arrows
and kneels on a cliff to pray.
He discovers the Fountain of Youth
and promptly dies,
his clanking armor sinking into earth
with the finesse of daffodils.
Blue mud crusts his shredded lips.
Monkeys drink coconut juice
from a cracked yellow skull.
The offspring of the Conquistador
weave bamboo crosses in Paraguay. 
They sip teaspoons of broth
at the St. Ignatius mission
as shadows of frantic Jesuits
streak across the moon.

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