1 June 2020

Poem of the Week: 'Maximus and Balbinus' by Evan Jones

Posted by the Bookshop

Evan Jones is the author of three collections of poetry: Nothing Fell Today But Rain, Paralogues, and Later Emperors - a book from whose title sequence this poem is excerpted.

Maximus and Balbinus

Our lives are like those of Maximus and Balbinus:
the unfortunate soldier and the hopeless noble,
two emperors, alone in the palace, a troop
of assassins approaching, while the city
enjoys the Capitoline games. They are trapped,
more than anything, in their hostility to each other,
unspoken but agreed on. They are unaware
their inner battle is not the problem.