The Adversary On The Coin

I found my legs this morning, and I caught my breath.
It took continents to tell me what I’m dealing with:
adversary language, angering the negro head
of Hannibal on the alpine coin he used to cut it dead.

Rome’s oratory was never the same again,
nor Munich’s with the gutteral sound of Lebensraum’s
Sieg Heil in halls of red and black that thumped reprisal home.
I’m waiting under the house in the cage that I came in.

You’ve only to let me out, you may recall, and drums
will beat on the battlefields we go building from.
Like age I rub my aching ribs beneath the tubs,
ready to escape like Carthage and Munich again.

Fools point our great succession at fugitive self-deaths,
to the bunker’s muzzle and the Mussolini noose
and, somewhere in miasma where a minaret sobs,
to the self-dealt desert poison on a painted Roman vase.

But we suspire like Beelzebubs inclined to spin
the continents about with every battlefield that breathes
ancestral adversary into the path of a speaking coin.
I hear you on the floor above dreaming your domain,

mapping out the measure of the derangement we begin.
I’ve found my legs, I’ve caught my breath, come down
and bring me in.