Searching for the City of Heaven
Bartolome de Las Casas's Abstract of Columbus's Journal
He called himself "Admiral"
Westernizing the mythical East
great Khan's fabled cities
of silver and gold
"I am determined to visit
the city of Quensay!"
Four expeditions, four empty horizons
canoes of logs
carrying no sails
Grass growing to the water's edge
"I have no doubt, serene Princes,
that religious persons could learn their
language, converting them to Christianity."
Mountains wrinkle like those in Sicily
as natives kneel
He saw many statues in the shape of women
who secretly feel
Musky, naked, without weapons or laws
"The palm trees are different
from those in Guinea."
Searching for the city of heaven
his crew fully persuaded
He dreamed of paradise terrestrial
as warriors masqueraded
While flocks of parrots obscured the sun