Volume 34, Number 3

Rome Fell in a Day

One thousand years of prosperity: A blip.
All of it to ash; what’s the fall of Rome
but abundant blips?
And didn’t they have vibrant days
of untold lives, ways of wine,
and games, and seminars?

Sitting unalive in a warm hotel room,
you compose your history textbook.
What happens now or tomorrow,
besides an inch towards an end?
Wouldn’t that be something if this age of alarm
only lasted for, oh, one thousand years or so?

—Holly Gabrielle Thompson