On this date in the year 410, Rome was sacked by the Visigoths

by D.G. Geis

But I’m thinking now
of the Dublin cabbie

who told me it all boils down
to who has the louder horn.

If the idea of life
being a short taxi ride

or history a runaway 18 wheeler
disturbs you—

you’re not alone.
Try finding a synonym

for “life” or “history”
and you’ll get my drift.

Like stopping to count
the empty whiskey bottles

in a neighbor’s trash.
It is what it is.

Say for instance,
the average height

at which a tree-climbing
chimpanzee feels safe (46 feet).

Or with giraffes,
the pressure required to lift blood 7 feet.

Heart and head must
somehow synchronize,

a daunting task—
even for bipeds.

Perhaps humanity, like every dog,
has had its day.

And God has retired
to his Carmel by the Sea

like an exhausted Doris Day,
his voice played out,

ruined by whiskey,
cheating accountants,

and smoky cabarets;
that unholy showbiz trinity

of a universe persisting
in its refusal to be disarmed.

While this poor world,
outclassed, unable even

to punch its own weight,
wobbles like a dying top,

barely spinning—
only as good as the last flick

of The Watchmaker’s
little finger.

D.G. “Greg” Geis is the author of Fire Sale (Tupelo Press/Leapfolio) and Mockumentary (Main Street Rag). He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and a graduate degree in philosophy from California State University. He was shortlisted for both the 2017 Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize (Ireland) and the 2017 Percy French Prize (Strokestown International Poetry Prize, Ireland). He was also a finalist for The New Alchemy (University of Alaska) and Fish Prizes (Ireland); and a finalist for the 2016 Main Street Rag Chapbook Competition, the 2016 Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize, the 2016 Louis Award, the 2016 Rash Award, and the 2017 Prime Number Magazine Award for Poetry. He divides his time (unequally) between Houston, Galveston, Dublin, Ireland, and the Hill Country of Central Texas.

Photo: “Spinning Top” by Sarah Joy