Dawn seemed as though it would never arrive. Yet the nights grew shorter after the solstice. The sky heavy and low, a mist like sweat in the air, a darkness sister to the proverbial. Distant prayers faintly heard from across oceans and centuries, a wail so slight yet so present. Would one’s country march off to war only to become the laughing stock of the rest of the world? Self-destruction is the number one disease of empires. They have all had clogged arteries, cancer, brain tumors, bad lungs (from the smoking guns). They rise up having given birth to themselves and often suicide despite admonitions and attempts by their own citizens to save them. One’s empire choking. One doesn’t believe one’s president who attends church, his slightly perfumed wife by his side, his daughters stoned out on downers. He read the Bible in Cliff’s Notes. Forgot the part about gluttony as a sin. Fat-headedness isn’t hormonal, it’s caused by eating eating and eating. Fat cars eat oil, roads, other cars. One is tired of marching against something, one wants to march for something. If one makes no profits on one’s non-existent stocks, can one receive some compensation in the form of monetary gain equivalent to what one would have had to pay in taxes if one had a portfolio? Dawn still doesn’t dawn. In this hour, one must turn on all the house lights and read fictional accounts featured on the stage of the newspapers. Would they please print the long stories in serial installments every two weeks?? The faint wailing of ancient prayers ceases. It is silent. And dawn has still not arrived. One is worried for the weather, the ice melting so fast where one has planned to exile the puppets and their puppetmasters. Perhaps one will have to devise another solution--shoot them into space and make them orbit the earth forever, watching from so many light years away what they did and what they could have done. If you have a better plan, please contact this page. Poetry accepts all subject matter. It is espe- cially interested in the young. Their ideas are so fresh and agile. If one is recruited in one’s youth, one might never march off to war. Though nothing is guaranteed, there are prophylactics. They some- times burst, and one becomes pregnant with thought. Notice how many artists are fit and within their weight limit, and care little for war fat. Perhaps their gluttony for acknowledgment is a healthy aspect, perhaps their sins are transformed into objects that have no purpose but to exist. The record of this existence is the history of lost empires.