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.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 39 Number 7, on page 30
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