The King of the Franks
standing in the aisle of St. Peter’s Church,
he idly inspects the architecture.
Constantine’s big basilica
crowded with a hundred shrines and tombs
and the walls a hundred feet above
crowded with mosaics made of glass
and above them long and ancient wood beams
that seemed to have been felled from a giant’s forest.
The apse is too far away to see clearly
but there seems to be a little too much gold
on the throne of Peter.
Pope Leo has well-healed scars around his eyelids.
They tried to pry out his eyes out there by the Flaminian Gate
men grabbed him and using their filthy nails
to rip and tear, they almost made him blind.
But Charlemagne’s men, they saved him.
Preserved his life and his dignity.
Surely there was someone who deserved to
save Rome from the Romans.
Empress Irene is so far away,
what she doesn’t know
can’t hurt her.
Charlemagne is standing in front of the Pope
he is hearing the blessing
and now is being beckoned to kneel
and a crown is placed upon his head
and he is now made the Emperor of the Romans.
He is the new Augustus ruling in the name of God.
How on Earth?
But he realizes that the Earth is his, at least the parts
he knows about.
Suddenly he knew what power was and how to wield it.
Dinner was served.
A big plate of
flame roasted meat.
A glass of wine.
Augustine’s ‘City of God’ read for fun.
No more hops, skips, or jumps.
Back to bed to practice his letters
with stylus and wax.
To feel old and running short of time
before the end can come
But all things must die.
Even rulers of the world must succumb.
“Lord Jesus, save my soul.
remember how I honored you
and the glory I put into the promulgation
of your words.”