Damnatio Memoriae

They will remember my name forever.

Their children will sing songs

Of my greatness.

They will quote me,

Hail me as patriot and revolutionary

In the same breath.

They will cower in shadows,

Hide behind doors and desks

At the mention of my passing.

I will get all

That I am due.

I will be elevated to godhood.

I will be immortal at last.

 

So the lowest dead of Tartaros whisper

To themselves as they lie

Motionless and bleeding,

Self-styled martyrs unworthy

Of the serpent’s venom,

Of the crushing boulder,

Of the ravenous eagle.

 

Meanwhile, far away in some field

Where the sun shines eternal,

None speak of the Tartarean.

The other names come easier;

They carry more weight, bringing

Not only sadness

But the joy of reunion as well,

Of lives lived well,

Of stories recounted happily.

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