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 Ganymede mosaic (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.