I’ve moved to Washington. First major move in a few years, and excited to be here. As the sun was setting, just as I was walking back to my apartment after dropping off my rental car, I looked up and saw that late summer “golden hour” light.

Hearing the twang among the porticoes
Where one expected only noble Romans,
You turn and keep a mild surprise, seeing
The public man descend the marble stairs,
Yourself, but for the grace of God, in the blue day
Among the floating domes. He disappears,
A little heady in that atmosphere,
Trailing the air of power, a solemn figure
Quick in the abstract landscape of the state.
His passage leaves you baffled in the void,
Looking out between two columns. The sun
Burns in the silence of the white facades.
How shall you act in this outlandish place,
This static city, neither Rome nor home?

Ernest Kroll