Latin Roots

by Caitlin Cacciatore

my Latin is too rusty
to be the product of anything but the inevitable ebb and flow
of a language a thousand years into its death throes.

I point to the atlas, trace my fingers along the lines of every coast,
do not trouble myself with the reading of the words;
nor the misshapen continents –
my fingers smear ink –
every storm is a harbinger of something
greater than itself; this is no different.

sea monsters undulate under the waves,
their bodies like boats,
sinking to the bed of the ocean –
this is how the Red Sea got its name –
too much blood;
too much salt.

Rome fell like Icarus,
like Lucifer before him;
maybe you can read this map
better than I.

Caitlin Cacciatore is a writer and poet who lives on the outskirts of New York City. She believes poetry has the power to create change and brighten lives, and wishes for her work to be an agent of forward motion.

Image: Vintage Map.