My wife is in love with rusty nails
that tell a story and have some charm.
When I trolled down the Appian Way,
I had my pick of ancient iron nails,
some had a solid head with twists
and twirls that weathered nicely.
Men’s withered bodies had fallen away
or been eaten by marauding scavengers.
I can still smell the stink of the Persian’s soul
who invented the most excruciating way to die.
He thought chopping off both hands of thieves
who stole was not a severe enough punishment.
These days I walk along railroad tracks
in the hope of finding a rusted iron nail or two,
the only way I can satisfy my wife’s longing
for one more nail.