by Ernest Hilbert on 27/04/12 at 11:40 am
There are lines from movies
That can ruin your life, is a line,
You say, that could ruin your life.
But was your life already ruined,
Or a ruin like Rome? Ashes, grass
And a see-through gown.
I’ve already ruined enough lines
Not to get this one right.
Yet I’ve always loved Rome,
The name, that is, not the city,
Which I also love in a way one can love
A city one has loved and been loved in
Because it enters you, in a way, as you walk,
Buy stamps, tell time.
No, for me that isn’t Rome,
That is Roma, ages ago, and forgotten.
Or studied and false, though
Comprehensive seeming, a compendium
Of soft brassy light on that providential stone.
But never the single syllable
Swallowed whole, nor its multi-syllabic twins:
Forcible Romulus, clandestine Remus—