They say she wears a mask that could launch a thousand ships

And that with the purse of her lips, the white-gloved hands

she uses to light thin, pretty cigarettes and drink Manhattans

that she would launch them.

Unwittingly, perhaps, but she would do it.  


Because for her it has never been about the Centurion

the Bentley or the Silent Circle. About velvet ropes or

red-bottomed heels or Escalades or even about the Sixteenth.

No. Pleasant as they may be, such luxuries are but ripples in the wake of a

ship she knows will

sail on towards that inevitable



The Brute to a Caesar they seem to say

was a Knight, his armor Loro Piana, his sword a lit Cohiba.

With the stroke of his Montblanc and the dial of his Vertu

It is said that he played chess with peoples’

lives, moving pawns and taking Queens behind an Iron Curtain.

And he did. And whenever asked if he would do it again

whatever it was that he had done

he always seemed to quip that

ce qui est fait, est fait.


Regret hinders, and he had not time for it.

Better to swing the bow and sail

until he felt like a sailor no longer.

And that’s the trick. The hustle. The magic. And. The pity in sailing as he does.


Et donc, when the flood-gates began to give,

she got on a Boeing at dusk and

left him under the guillotine he

had brought upon himself.

Memento Mori, she purred.

A Sine Qua Non

The man who knew it all

Never quite managed

to remember.