In the era of diamonds and mink and fog,
while I sleep on a bed of straw,
they sleep on down, each one banded to show
whose bird it is—Caesar’s—on the leg.
The white chin strap I recognize,
the lilt and twist of the black boot, where
an absurd republic threatens war.
Now it comes at me with glittering eyes,
in perfect silence, wings flared, beak open:
but better go catch the wind in a net
than say it is stupid or try to stop it,
like the meme that destroys reputation.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 39 Number 7, on page 30
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