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The great bell
tolls midnight

stirring echoes:

martyrs, prophets
in chains.

Above Rome’s
Seven Hills

life and death
still wrestle

in a match already

The last toll
rolls like a tide

through Bernini’s

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.