History might be written
with lightning; it’s read in sintered
crystal, vitrified dust,
the trapped thing mummifying
in the crawlspace underneath
the summer dining room’s fancy
(Jupiter in eagle-mode,
Ganymede in the talons).
Earthworms doing much injury
by raising tesserae.
Claudian has succeeded
Ausonius as poet
laureate. I have considered
selling off my estate,
my collected disasters,
counting the days between smoke’s
skeuomorphic forks reaching back
into the horizon
and the fists on my front door.
They’re wrong. My home will not turn
into that land you think you know
from Claudian’s verses:
Britannia, garbed in the pelt of some Scotch behemoth,
her cheekbones scrimshawed, her woad-blue mantle brushing
her footsteps with its hem like the ocean’s tidewrack surging.
No. I shall not permit it.