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,

And small.