Old Man Packing For Rome
The Coliseum where man and beast did battle,
where competitive fairness was not discernible
among the cheering like so many heads helmeted,
swords sheathed, is still time zones away.
The history-book past made vivid
by Hollywood extravaganzas is nearly
as tactile as the unzipped American
Tourister flat on my bed ready for packing.
Which pants for an August buona sera and
how many button-down shirts for a night on
the town are my sartorial decisions made
light by luggage wheels.
I once backpacked four full months.
My shoulders were strong and tanned,
the color of Tuscan brick when smaller
towns and curving roads were my desire.
Now cities are my destination.
Rome too, before it became that Rome
or this Rome, while being built, must have
pre-flourished with meandering
paths for travelers, years before
the Apian Way.
Like a jet route.
In and out.