(Horace, Carmina IV, xiii “Audivere, Lyce, di mea vota, di...”)
I lit candles, pranced
widdershins around them,
chanting harsh syllables
awkward as Klingon curses.
It worked, my dear. You’ve aged.
You paint and powder, paste
a too-bright smile on your face.
Only the blind are fooled.
Your flesh has shriveled or sagged.
Your hair, what’s left of it,
clings feebly to your scalp.
Look in your mirror; your treason
is carved in your wrinkled cheeks.
The powers that be are just,
if bought with prayers enough.
Shannon Cochran as Sirella