On Pompeii, 79AD
The violence of that night. I sat
notating Livy, through
the earth’s contractions.
A thin dawn-choked sky
shook chariots. The crowd rolled back
onto itself. Neptune threw up animals.
Every thing convulsed. On the shore
across, a great black cloud broke
with light. Shrieks rang out: endless
night, with gods up and gone
like wayward husbands. Then:
the silent dark. We stood
to shake off ash.
The air was seasick
winter, dense with panic.
I thought I would perish
with the world itself.