The Rebirth of Rome

Walking along the ridge above the vineyard
in the dappled light of an October evening
the last blue black grapes withering on vines
draped with golden, shivering leaves –
I am accompanied only by my dog
a creature accustomed to down pillows
and salmon skin, who wears sweaters after first frost

I look down upon the valley below
where Dionysian lords revel
on moonlit nights
where pilgrims fill their pockets
with the profits of their tech stocks
all the while the Councilmen play a sad little tune
on their fiddles while Rome burns

I am, in this hamster maze of hubris
reminded of the She-Wolf
who suckled those two boys
who were given names and an Empire
while she gave milk and her love for
children born of others and in return
received from scholars
the paltry gift of
a pronoun-hyphen-common name
and a passing glance
past the other iron artifacts in the collections
Estruscan figure, 5th century B.C.

And I wondered when the time might come
to avenge the Rape of Lucretia
that time when the she-wolves of the world
with their howls and crying
their yips and yowls
their mourning and whining –
when the gathering of the pack
will precede some proper carnage
will spill the wine before the blood
is curdled and the beating heart is stilled
and doors are locked
the keys are carried
a knife is tucked into the boot
the vapors rise from the Valley floor
and evil deeds are visited
upon the doers, shameless and secure
in their fortress of tradition and history
to herald the arrival of
that long awaited moment
when the terror of the night
takes up residence
in every Caesar who would betray his citizens
in every squalling every cub who would
bite his mother’s breast
only to claim her sacrifice as his own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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