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Chris O'Carroll

 

ROMAN RUINS


Midway between our restaurant and hotel,
Moonlight pays homage to this vacant lot
(Vacant to the extent new stones have not
Presumed to rise here where these old stones fell).
Gods centuries unworshipped still cast spells:
The pillared splendor their acolytes wrought
Is splendid rubble now, and long forgot
The rituals whose rhythms used to swell

The air above this cairn of tumbled walls,
But that gods once were gods we yet recall,
And recollecting is a kind of praise,
If not of them, then of forebears who raised
In marble what we reconstruct tonight
Of myth and memory mortared with moonlight.

 

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