Carmina Mucronis: 2


Tonight, with the aide of torches
senate-sanctioned to burn past midnight
along the capital avenues, no mere footpaths,
shining bright to honor the calendar gods,
I stumbled and swayed to your doorway,
barely able to make out my own name
etched from an earlier time with you.
Where my knife blade bit into the oak enjamb-
ment that upheld the ornate intricacies
of the lintel’s bas relief, Janus renders
scallops and scudding clouds of foam
interspersed here and here again among
entwining vines, the signal of a god who always comes,
now climbing a doomed ship’s mast,
now sprouting and staining clustered grape
among its virgin sails, while a lone lion leaps
amid a pattern of dolphin-studded waves,
these too by Janus living in the wood,
I finger the grooves of my name –
a memento momentum amoris too small except
you know where to look in the first place –
and as I kicked at the door, I forgot
the bolt was already thrown, Venus
notwithstanding. But all those hours
o my Flavia, of sweet wine with you,
had no effect on my sobriety or my regret.


  1. While very fine, I’m going out on a limb here and saying that this probably – probably – does not belong in Grundwerk.

  2. But it does go well accompanied by this.

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