This poem appears in the Winter-Spring 2011 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe now, go here.
Out on the empire’s dark periphery
the stoic emperor has spent his day
fighting off soul’s despair and state’s decay;
for empire has a certain entropy––
the center splits, the utmost edges fray––
and peace of mind (a scarce commodity
he buys with bits of old philosophy),
unless he writes it down, will slip away.
But in the heart of Rome’s divided heart
one who has dared to dare imperial might
and wisdom to be truly strong and wise
now lays aside apologetic art
and philosophic pen. He wins his fight
and goes to claim his everlasting prize.