After Asculum

"And I, Pyrrhus," he said
"might well stand
above such blazing campfires
coding victory."

These losses, in each individual case,
mean no more or less,
viewed from this angle,
than the dead and the redundant.

Arithmetic exists at the sword’s edge.
Years pass in their thousands.
Here’s one – a mosaic
on the museum floor:
the writer on his knees
before the emperor.