'Pliny the Younger to Tacitus' by Zenobia Frost | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

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.

Zenobia Frost