The ancient way across this world lies like sunset over black pearls,
The treetops are marble-made that the riffler of wind deforms,
To know all mother tongues from the quarry of rough stones,
To speak everything at once, Bride of Unbecoming,
The moldering walls of lips, the kiss of vacant streets
And the quiet, wet solitude bespoken by back roads,
The whispered origami of the Forum, paper gods in folds,
Smothered in the false pillows of their own repose,
The wolf’s beard dipped in the fresh pant of dewfall,
While lovers have placed on the stones of the Appian Way
Their perfect hearts like votive candles, cupping the flames,
Looking down the swift arrow of loneliness, Sagittarius its same
Heaven-glow and besprinkled guidepost of a starlit Sacred Way.
Mother of Rome, your powdered face has been made ashen by those
Unreturned home, your far-off travels lead only to the graves of sons.
The ancient way across this world lies like sunset over black pearls.