The valley lies as if in wait—for what?
A gray processional of cluster clouds
Advances southward over silent crowds
Of anonymity. We feel the glut
Of discontent inside the gathering distance.
Masks inter our faces at our breath’s insistence.
The Pax Romana broods a pregnant calm,
Agitated by the rhetoric
Of politicians “for the people” (sic).
At rush hour, talk shows detonate a bomb
Of blame that shudders down the motorway.
The ones who know the secret soon will have their say.
Friction billows high up in the ether,
Cumulus-cloudy, while the populus
Dissolves from all-for-one to them and us,
Till both sides vaporize their or and either.
Candidate-vandals, having seized the Quirinal’s
Pomp, graffiti voting booths like walls of urinals.
Lightning bolts are jagging through the dark
Of a storm cloud. The cloud’s about to burst!
Many are called, the last will be the first
To drown. Romulus sails his homemade ark
Along the Tiber, bearded, old, and vatic,
With pairs from every species, finally democratic.
Andrew Frisardi is a Bostonion who lives in central Italy. His recent books include The Harvest and the Lamp (2020) and Ancient Salt: Essays on Poets, Poetry, and the Modern World (2022, forthcoming).