Immortality: built to last, like the Roman Coliseum.
A first century monument to humanity’s achievements,
to Nero, to the strength of linen clad Romans,
with travertine arches that withstood fires and earthquakes.
Mortality: bones and blood, like Nero himself.
and those who followed him until there were none.
Our breaths follow the rhythm of our internal clocks,
ticking down the hours until we fall into cold dust.
Immortality: tastes like sermon promises of Heaven;
shines like morning light through cathedral stained-glass,
mesmerizing and tantalizing, hope that our breaths
will stick to the world like black ink on scritta paper.
Mortality: tastes like dried leaves and scattered roadkill;
shines like morning light through hospital windows,
reminding and tormenting, months and months of hospice.
Our bones are not travertine, our blood is not Holy water.