Hannibal

There was once a man who took on the Roman Army and when he
arrived at the gates of Rome and threw a stone he left but could
have conquered them had he laid siege then and all Italians
would be speaking some derivation of Phoenician to this
day, instead they came and defeated him in Carthage
salting the earth so nothing would grow there again,
so he who hesitates is lost but most of us let moss
grow in the place where blind courage
once dwelled in our youth
often I wonder if those
horses and mastiffs
and elephants
and bulls
that
mankind
has forced to
join him in his battles
took any joy in the fight
despite all the conquests
against darkness in search
of light our duel nature never
changes and science brings us
no closer to the truth of human
nature only quantifying how
it works, we still fear the
darkness which fire
separated us from
when those who
embraced it
were burned
at the stake
I wonder if
I was one
of them
at Masada
who preferred
suicide to defeat
by Legio X Fretensis
commanded by Lucius
Flavius Silva or was I one
of them at Musa Dagh, the
Empire Strikes Back always
and most rebels die while the
rest stay sheep and when on rare
occasion a rebellion succeeds it
usually makes things worse for
quite some time like the
Reign of Terror in
France, shall we
grow old in
worship of
false idols
doing as we’re
told knowing less
than we knew upon
arrival with our supposed clean
slate and hairless pate crying out for milk
I come here to bury Caesar not to praise him
how many lives have been lost to some despots whim
praise to the Bashibazook’s big hats or Fath Ali Shah’s pearls
or the new uniforms that Vice President Agnew’s wife once designed
for the White House Palace Guards, Gone With the Wind. I would have
preferred Leotards had I any choice in how my tax dollars were spent
but in all seriousness now where were we in this long rambling
existential nausea, a horse, a horse, my kingdom
for a horse or even a donkey at this point
in the existential nausea

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