'Caligulan' by Ernest Hilbert


Your bank calls. Events begin to register
Some unwelcome forecast. The dreamy nurses
Switch to Goodfellas on the overhead TV.
The omens come and signs are sinister.
Texts go unreturned. You’re out of coffee.
The Olympian Jupiter curses.
In sleep, a great toe kicks you back to earth.
The slaves stage a play about the under-
World. The smoke alarm fails, and your computer crashes.
Your favorite gladiator is lashed
For theft, lightning blackens your temple, thunder
Sinks your song, because, like the day of birth,
The day you’ll wake and have your death is set,
But just hasn’t, just hasn’t happened yet.