From the tall Roman aquaduct that survives in the heart
of Firenze, windows and doors peer casually like eyes
from within the sockets of a polished ancient skull
at the tourists spending euros and pointing cameras.
All manner of soft hulled and armoured descendents
scuttle through the narrow corridors of this hive,
cooking, nesting, humming, as they did millennia past
in the red brick and marble Roman markets and houses
fed precious water through channels from the duct above.
Cameras tell these images to albums back in our houses
strung like plastic beads on the sprawling web of streets
we call suburbia, unconsciously animating
the ancient tongues that spoke so long ago.
And so we prepare to live their lives:
arm armies, mourn loss, re-pile bricks and listen for
the cadence of Roman legions’ sandals
the beat of the legions’ drums
the flow of legions’ blood.