Kevin Prufer

What inspired the emperor Constantine

to murder his own son

                                        and later

to have his name erased from monuments?

No one knows. Nevertheless,

Constantine was a benevolent ruler,

if you can believe

                                Church historians.

Late last night,

walking through the contagious city,

I came upon my demolished

high school.

                      Just like that,

they’d torn it down.  Barbarians.

Once I sat in a tight desk

while an old nun lied

about American history.

Now it was a pile

                          of brick and glass.

A yellow bulldozer dozed

                                            in the corner,

a fat tyrant.

                          The rumble

of commerce was continuous

from the nearby highway.

How I love you,

                              America.   You are so

forgetful —

Constantine ruled for decades

after his forgotten son’s demise

and died happy in Nicomedia.

We should murder history

to make room

                        for history.

No, I told myself. For truth.




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