Walking down from out of the small hills,
we saw on the lake, floating like a ship in a
fevered dream, Tenochtitlan.
Its palaces and temples and strange structures
unnamed, its majesty rivaling anything in Europe.
Everything in ordered rows, painted in bright colors,
marketplaces full of people and fruits and vegetables
and wares, everywhere the sound of people.
We knew of their ways.
They came to us and gave gifts and gold, and a wondrous
headdress; they acted as though I was a god.
These heathen Indians.
They prayed to strange and eclectic gods, made
sacrifices of men! So many people slaughtered.
My men and I watched as priests cut open chests
and in great torrents of wine-red blood, pulled still beating
hearts from their victims. The long stairs of their towers
had rivulets of it flowing down them, cascades of corpses
and the stink of iron filled their vast plazas.
I came to bring them the rule of Spain!
I came to bring them Jesus Christ and the blessed
I came to collect the treasures that were so obviously
mine to have.
I gave that idiot Moctezuma every chance to control his
people, I promised him his honor as a nobleman.
But those beautiful feathers placed on my shoulders
whispered to me of victory.
And I took it.