he works in gray and granite
and numbers without end,
he plans across the planet
as dividends descend.
the world is colorless and flat,
of surfaces and corners —
of businessmen who live and die,
but seem to leave no mourners.
he closes then his midday eyes
to join a world that’s only his…
across a fiery river
he rows a lonely skiff,
and looks to find a landing place
along a tree-lined cliff.
escaped from his indenture,
he searches for a sign:
the point of his adventure,
the looming palatine.
to fight his way across the land,
to live by wit and heart and hand,
to find old rome alight with gold,
in lands too precious to get old,
a world with no complacency,
where he could still a hero be:
and taste the treasure of the vine,
and find, at last, the palatine.
with sudden jerk, and open eyes,
he finds again, to his surprise,
a busy office filled with din,
and narrow walls he lives within.
and for an hour, or a year,
he grinds himself to finest dust,
amid a gray and granite world
of give-and-take and bank-and-trust —
for in the droid, a man remains
who once was more than puts and gains;
as slowly dies such gold as glows,
that fades away
and no one