All else notwithstanding (and it wasn’t much
by mores of time and place) history finds
for her. One can see her juggling brothers,
wooing Rome, looking for ominous signs
from the less kindly disposed others
who viewed Alexandria as a touch.
Not easy too her bit of cheek on the Tiber,
flaunting son complete with sire’s name:
that needed nerve. From their villas
the wives watched like hawks as she came
in triumph to shake an empire’s pillars,
silk and steel entwined in her fibre.
But she was doomed. Fate would intervene
with the Ides; and with her patron went
whatever Egyptian wind that bore her sails.
Actium did the rest. She was spent.
She came home to asps; and the tales
clung like unguents to embalm a queen.