(George W. Bush/Silvio Berlusconi, Rome War Summit, June 4, 2004)
The cats of Rome sleep, feed, and breed
among the tumbled travertine, and slip,
tails high, across the flag draped avenue.
Ignoring pomp, alive to circumstance,
they cruise cafes for crumbs or prowl
the Pantheon. Because the ages blaze
and fade, the cats ignore the ranks
of flags and fleets of long black cars.
At the axis of the empire, they curl
round Trajan’s Column, indifferent
to a fault, at home in a falling world.