The great bell
tolls midnight

stirring echoes:
emperors,

martyrs, prophets
in chains.

Above Rome’s
Seven Hills

life and death
still wrestle

in a match already
won.

The last toll
rolls like a tide

through Bernini’s
columns,

over the ramparts,
and disappears.

And for just
an instant I am

at the center
of all my selves,

before I set
out head-bowed,

stone by stone
across the piazza

with no one
in the world to tell.