By Christopher Mulrooney

say what you like about Rome insomnia kills you there
your guts on fire with rentlessness
root of all ill
booming wheels roaring drivers
to wake the deaf or sea lions at the Pole

still you might be crushed some night
high the roofs a tile heavy
defective pots go right out the window
down to smash on the cobblestones
make your will before you dine thou dizzy with disasters
tragedy is under any broad window while you’re making your way at night
so pray the hussies never throw aught on your pate but merds

o the sodden lout dying to brutalize some fool
he rolls upon his bed another Achilles he
languishing for love of the late Patroclus
sleepless ‘less he pummel summat
stoned howsomuch he’ll not go near th’ em-
purpled flashlit searchlighted fellow
surrounded by the vastness of his bodyguard
me on foot by moonlight schlepping
or shielding from the breeze a guttering dip
he doesn’t care a fig t’avoid