Junipero Serra Is Dead

In Stanford, California (5 December 1990) after Vachel Lindsay

The self-flagellator is dead. He doesn’t walk limping below these hills surrounded by soldiers who inoculate the natives with measles and syphilis. All this is behind us. His name is the name of the road we drive to get from here to there below these hills assuming his cruelty—an act of love. He’s dead. But if he could wouldn’t he rub his sores again to see the new world not yet in control— we who need to be punished still.