At the party I would stand as a statue, offering guests talking points
about the Roman Ideal and that famous grace.
There is more.
I’d quell ambitions, have the armies stop fighting, ask for less.
I wish someone would put me in a category: patrician, miserable; that I had a baby,
was winged & self-assured, or that Corinth’s art filled my walls, or bookshelves, or lawn.
I wish for our Mediterranean’s return, for perpetual wind, heavier limbs, silence.
All this is not to ignore the stew in the slow cooker, the man napping,
or the horse we keep in a painting on the wall. This bath—
a luxury of Epsom and steam;
these conditions have already been met.
These are the facts: Rome fell before I was born.
It should be enough that I love my hair as a Roman, and that, like a Roman, I am.
There will always be the haunt of possibility and a golden era.
No one will ask to see this list.