|I returned from the wars sixteen years ago|
by Julian X  /  poetry  /  22 Apr 2008
I returned from the wars sixteen years ago
We raised cities, took our plunder there.
Already a young man, boys died in my arms.
Barbarians gurgled and fell, no longer whole,
from my bloodied blades. I lost an ear
when my helmet fell off, and returned to Rome
an earless hero. How the women fell for me,
each craving a piece of someone they thought me to be.
They looked w/ adorning eyes and I learned
nothing eradicates female jealousy like celebrity.
The flocks grew thin, and now I have
my patrician wife and money enough
to buy what once came free. But still --
still I think on those cities raided in Ionia,
where we slaughtered and enslaved, and where
against the rubble, no daughter went unraped.
We were brothers taking turns. Parents watched.
Any young girl could be taken -- and was,
would cry as we held her down, could slap her,
let loose our every ambition upon
purely disposable flesh. We fucked and killed,
laughed and mocked as men, as men unleashed.
I am respected, even idolized by some;
I have my villa, my fortune -- but still
those whores cost money and have rules,
and all seems a pale staging,
a play in which the actors fail to lose themselves.
The whole world knows my name
and still I dream of Ionia.
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