At the Edge of Empire

The first dream

was of full bellies

The second was of freedom

And loomed an Age of Light

held high by sturdy threads

of the soul-star's spinning

 

Cut from a fragrance

through the verdure

stood the path

Held to the promise

by a striving

came the step

 

Citizen-soldiers

gathered arms

as the only just protection

Mercenaries

will not risk enough

Usurious smirkers suck warm

 

A blinded star stumbled

unexpectedly fell

into a sea of corruption

Despair haunts like gravity

diffident remnants

exhausted of light

 

Too much

of what bends

is not satisfied

Too much

of the second dream

fled at the first paltry test

 

Ripped open on the shore

lies the wounded age

its buzzing belly weeping worms

Through the wasting

sways a train

laden with eyes of hunger

peering half-closed

through splintered slats

of a threadbare boxcar night

 

Jamie Cavanagh