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Poetry: History

 

In the Holiest of Holies, there was
nothing.    Nothing at all.

Beyond the sailing white walls,
the coruscating flame of columns
wreathed in gold, beyond
slippery stairs redolent of
slaughter and bedizened doors
tall as a god, only a meagre meal,
and then nothing.    Darkness, and
nothing at all.

What is one war? I have seen
so many, following the Eagle, that
all, pale Celt or dark Libyan, fade
into nothing, a grimace
answering a sword.    No more.
See.  This I had in one battle,
that in another.    I remember
nothing, nothing at all.

In the City, I have a name,
a tribe, large and influential,
offices.  Each day begins with
clients, and ends in conviviality.
Between, clear light, ceremony,
and conspiracy.     The gods are
white stone, wreathed in gold,
reflecting the honour of a patron.
In Rome, the women are veiled.

At night, the statues sigh,
the restless shift of imperfect
stone.     The streets make no
reply.  Stars glitter across
the sky, thin jewels set in
wood.      The wind slides by
like a veil.     In dreams,
I cry out:    no one answers.

I wake to darkness, and pray
to sighing stones. No one comes,
and I remember nothing.

In the darkness, I cry out, to
no answer.     I remember
nothing.   Nothing at all.
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