by David Ahlman

Two step slowly into the arena
From the darkness of the gate—
As crowd erupts in coliseum,
The sands and rafters shake.

Blood last spilt from warrior’s spar
Ignites the thrill of death in all:
Inside the slaves, inside the mob,
Inside the politicians, inside—I sob.
The fight they need and red that bleeds
Is less than seemly for eyes to see—
As worldly quakes, the hardened whole
Lose sight of the worth of lowly souls.
Roars rise louder than any scream
Uttered in cheer or bellowed in team—
A graphic end to a life but spent
Serving as tribute to emperor’s raiment.
His thumb points up, his thumb points down,
Holding lost host in the palm of a sound—
Whether for, or whether against
Audience approval seals slashed to rest.

One steps slowly out of arena
Into the darkness of the gate—
As crowd erupts in coliseum
The sands and rafter shake.