Saw the Arch of Titus today.
Fought the simmering heat.
Temporary relief
of a cool ancient fountain found
triumphs to conquering Jews.
Not news.
Having evicted us from our homes,
they carried away our menorah
and marched with our tomes.
They planted their own in their stead,
a statue of Caesar, a porcine head.

I took a snapshot of our son
cooling himself with a quick rinse
having marched through the gate in fun.
How many tyrants have passed through since,
have triumphed leaving bloody footprints?

Sitting to rest near the conquerors’ arch,
my son, at eleven, wanly grimaces for another photo-op.
He conquers ignorance,
conquers his feeling of solitude and extinction.

And I, watching him in a trance
marvel at the heat of Rome in summer,
and control... a desire... to dance.