The tombstone of Flavinus,
from the Ala Petriana,
stationed in Britain,
shows him horsed, rearing
above a naked captive.
This is the pose he desired
to carry his name
into eternity: brandishing
the standard, proud, honored.

The captive is lion-faced,
wild and bearded,
on all fours,
clinging to a post,
tensed for the blow.
He could have come from Blake,
some lost engraving,
the carved lines charged
with living frenzy,

history’s flesh.



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