Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Passing Thoughts on the Death of Don Francisco Pizarro

by Juan Morales


June 26, 1541

“Here is the skull of the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro who discovered and won Peru and placed it under the crown of Castile.”


In the after dinner ambush,

you met death

via rapiers and daggers:

defense wounds,

neck thrusts, nicked

vertebra, damaged sphenoid,

and an eye socket

punctured through

by the points of

betrayed men, reaping

a bit of what you had sown.

Your were lucky

with your horse-driven sorcery

until you were left

to cross yourself

then to kiss

your blood-caked

right hand, last breath

huffed. We forget

your headless body

buried in the cathedral’s

special chapel,

head housed in

the inscribed lead box.