Happy Birthday, Julius Caesar
(July 13, 100 BC - March 15, 44 BC)
Perhaps you are a comet now... providing joy rides
across the cosmos for Jupiter. As a birthday present
to you in 1881, Pat Garrett shot dead one Billy the Kid.
The next July 13th Johnny Ringo shot himself
so that he might address you in cracked Latin.
Forgotten are Marcus Thermus and Servilius Isaricus,
your military mentors. Descent from Venus
weighed heavy enough for you to dirty-fuck
goddess-queen Cleopatra... your son by her
later murdered in Rome upon your dying blood.
Perhaps you are a comet, riotously laughing,
seeking a planet you can crash into:
a final relieving of all the other deities'
silly indulgences and interventions.
The sky tonight blazes purple.
This poem is included in Red Shuttleworth's collection of bio-sketch poems, Ghosts & Birthdays (Kris Wetherholt's Humanitas Media Publishing, 2012), available on Amazon: