The Enlightenment

Armando Jaramillo Garcia

The good light entered the tall windows
Splashed itself geometrically over the cluttered interior
He was sitting at the harpsichord
Practicing some minor piece as his servant listened
While shuffling marked cards
The table behind them overflowing with fruit and fowl
Crystal pitchers of dark wine reflecting
And stretching the scene over their round shapes
As if lightly sketched and of little import
Melodious and smooth
The massive oak that overlooked the house
Which for generations had nothing with which to compete
Could be said to be grotesquely at peace
Brimming with sap
Its ribbed bark with grooves big enough to fit an arm
From where many a sacrifice or vengeance had hung
Loomed and spread over those that would lounge
And joke about the current intellectual mood
In the cities and the revolutions to come
While pursuing the carnal distractions
Which were their privilege
However enlightened
Superstitions and prejudice rippled their talk
Was the morally solvent man possible
Or even desirable for there were those whose bodies and minds
Craved insult
Cruelty a blessing which ran along the rills of flesh
Emerging in rivulets of blood
In the future of which he mused to the birds gossiping about
And the horses chewing compulsively the grass
We will be ruled by small machines no doubt of wonder and science
Will eat religion down to its wormy bones
Books if they still exist will be written by women
And men will float about on the vapors of their own excrement
Which mute alchemists will have turned to bowls of gold
But massive bulls will still be butchered
And we will sit around all night watching the fires
Increase and crackle from their burning fat
And an alien darkness will hunger
Over our meager resources
Bound loosely to ourselves
By something beyond thought