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Poetry Magnum Opus

A Private Discusion


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Dear Gaius Metellus, I hope you enjoy this feast
and all its concomitant celebrations,
arranged by the well-known, the infamous Fidius Balbo,
at a cost which raised both my brows,
but only for a moment, naturally.
I am told your grand-niece Philomena,
a pure young priestess, a vestal, in fact,
has pronounced some sort of anathema
against a few interests I hold rather close
and I am wounded, very much distraught
at a hint of any thought of dissension
between us, fellow legionnaires under Sulla,
now cousins by marriage. Another ortolan?
I have asked the slave to bring us special wine,
the kind I reserve for old friends.
Caesar is poised to cross the Rubicon
and will presumably lose this desperate gamble,
although his nerve, his luck, is phenomenal.
I shall support him. You will follow Pompey.
I suggest we look out for one another, old friend,
and you have a quiet word with Philomena.


Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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