Amor vincit omnia (Love Conquers All)
“Rust may never sleep, but then, neither does moss.” – Brian Awehali
Emperor: I am Conquest.
My dark army vanquishes all
with its settled presence,
The wide world yields before my dusty scepter.
What I don’t cover with my relentless rind
I break and tear and dissolve into me–
my appetite knows no end.
All to ash, I say, All to ash.
I: Pin not your proud imperial hopes on me,
for I’m the rebel to thwart you, Dust.
You may fall, I’ll sweep you clean.
Emperor: What you build, I devour,
for at last you and it and I are one.
I will fade your brightest colors.
Call me King, subject!
I: You may tear down my citadels,
rend each wall and roof asunder,
but I shall thrust up once more
a sparkling edifice, refulgent
with a heart beyond your dark fingers,
my lineage is indefatigable
its coat-of-arms bears the Phoenix
on whose feathers no dust remains long
Emperor: Look around, what pitiful Phoenix do you see?
I’ve ground each beak and wing to dust.
My soldiers have thrown to their tasks well
rewarded with their own unending meals
Nothing is beyond the vast reach of my march,
All submit to my…
I: NO! All do not submit!
This is the voice of the one
who does not.
My head you shall cover,
my feet you shall sully,
my works you shall dissolve,
with Time as your conspirator.
But No, ‘King’, my heart slips through your grasp.
‘O King, O King, O King’,
the word mocks itself
on the tongue of my fierce beat.
I’ll make of your crown a tiny watermark
within my ferocious design.
Whatever power you usurp through the eons–
from the imperial center of decay
to your outposts of dirt–
I defy it like a riot.
My heart is no subject of yours.
Its riotous root runs deeper than your Rome,
where your empire has no purchase.
Should your mindless soldiers
dare ask its name, it’ll reply,
“Tell you master, my name is Defiance.
My task, Creation, my motive, Love.
My will be done.”