Home > Poetry > A Sentence from Tacitus
Daniel Lin
Published: Tue Jul 1 2003
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
A Sentence from Tacitus

Peace is merely
An assumption of
Fortunes, states, and dearly
Bought ways to companionship or love.
Merely assumptive in, yes,
A pejorative sense.
The smoldering present tense
Is too elusive to bless.
The desolation left behind
Breeds grim anecdotes.
Tomorrow’s planned kind—
nesses, half and quarter notes
In a refined style
Of moral composition, claim
A silent pride, a discordant shame.
The assumed dead rest in a pile
After the decisive operations
Of animal dispassion.
Grounded, our elations
And attitudes turn ashen
This fire-scarred hour.
The night sky is torn by burning rods
Launched by lesser gods
Of merciless power.

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