Who dares disturb my sleep?
I the king of millions
I have fought Gaul, driven out the
Huns, made peace with the
Celts and even
Called to the God, the god of worlds
Ancient as myself, to consecrate
My life’s work,
Lend it credence, do anything to silence
The doubters and their doubt.
I have bribed
Maidens the world over, gave them
Presents of myrrh and alabaster,
Dressed them in
Damasked silk, decked them with gold
Necklaces while the queen my wife
Fumes in the
Corner wearing the threadbare gown
A wedding gift a decade old.
She is ugly
Like a fisherman’s wife. She is old.
This is what you get for
A brute. But she can’t tell this to me
Now. She had lost her voice
When she first
Heard the court’s laughter, the laughter
Of princes and princesses come
To us every night
To dine for free, dancing, depleting our
Store of mead. She’s in the kitchen
With her own court
Of big-boned broad-shouldered peasant
Wives, damsels in their own
Right, who cooked
The venison to-night a bit too raw for
My stomach. I am suffering from
From a life’s worth of heartaches, from
My age, my sins, my own life. I am
From my own life. I am old.
I suffocate at this
The blood spilled of enemies in a
Hundred deserted lands
To drown me. I follow myself like a ghost
Everywhere. Those fools deserved
I am haunted by my own ghost. I am
Old. I am old. Life has escaped me.
I am pale.
I am lifeless. I am lost. I am a ghost
Myself. My pale face is bloodless.
In my veins flow
The black waters of Lethe.
17 March 2016