And Constantine The Eleventh Minted Hardly Any Coins At All

Virtue has its own reward, but

Necessity views the world

on one side from a monocle

and on the other, through

a presbyopic lens. Laugh

if you wish: we all

do what we must, but if the exigencies

include howling Turks at the High Walls, then

we can, as well, dispense with a set

of robes attributed to the Madonna,

as with a coin, debased

by lack of gold, with an image

of yours truly on the reverse;

and reduced (ad absurdum)

to the size of a metaphor: a representation

of the final denouement, the Fall, after

a ridiculously long decline,

into the swill of everydaylife

that its denizens call modernity.