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Roman Room

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Someday our buried life will come to this:
a shaft of sunlight touching the Etruscan
surfaces, the basin still intact
as if awaiting hands. How many

centuries sequestered is an expert's guess,
you tell me. I admire the tiles
some craftsman spiraled in the ceiling's dome
detailing Neptune's beard. Or someone's.

What will they say of us, who have no home
(we like to say) but one another? When they pry
our hearts apart and excavate the sum,
is that the place we'll lie? Where the words lie?

Source: Poetry (June 2008)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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Roman Room

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  • Poet, playwright, and essayist Todd Hearon grew up in North Carolina. He received an MA in Irish studies from Boston College and a PhD in editorial studies from Boston University. Hearon’s lyric, sometimes formal poems are rich with allusion and historical reference even as they engage contemporary culture. In a 2007 interview for the Exeter Bulletin, Hearon noted, “I have been faced with the new artistic problem (new for me, not for art) of how to find a place in my poems for the ugly, the treacherous, the false, the banal—things that have always, of course, been there, but that seemed to have floated to the surface of my consciousness, stayed put, and sought expression.”
    His poetry collection Strange Land (2010) was selected by poet Natasha Trethewey as a winner of the Crab Orchard Poetry Series in Poetry Open Competition Award. Hearon is the recipient of a PEN New England Discovery...

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