Dear Empire,

These are your rebels. Their wills fill the edge of a pit. They are teeth, throats, the sudden sable plume of a feather from a helmet. They meet in old houses whose walls were once doors.

The floors, once a broken field of stones. And now blue ceilings. Now the smell of orange peel sprayed on the bodies in repose.

The artist paints the rebels to music as they cross the bridge to your battlements. A small steamer announces itself in grand orchestrations over a pit soon to be turned to a tomb. In the scene, the artist paints flowers, the slow canal in front of rows of conifers, and not the awkward deaths in the pit. Because of a forced perspective. Because of the way she succumbs to the song.

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