It's as if the General cried "S.P.Q.R!"
and jammed his standard into an artificial rock
Triumphant, sudden, and plastique
The flag is impressive
Eagle with majestic wings spread
Majestic letters adorning majestic lavender fabric
Caesar's feline face, majestically framed
One eye on the field of majestic carnage
I picked it up and looked closer.
The eagle is fat with age, lurching on his perch
Where gold leaf snakes twist and twine.
The fabric is faded, the letters too
And many are ignorant of their meaning.
Caesar's face sags like melting wax
Like a dented penny, bleeding rust...
I want to slap him and shout
"Turn around! Your empire is burning!"
I tried to remember the pastels and glue bottles of long ago
The monuments of cardboard and pasta shells
Quickly consigned to garbage.
That is where this distant victory belongs
Arrogant, and childish, and forgotten, and fragile,