Staircase and flag, in single ladder,
Band the sky. By fiat sadder
For their dream of marble halls,
The Zone proconsuls set the tolls.
Below their hill, Balboa High
Embalms the years that pass it by.
Blameless haircuts, sweaters fitted,
Who Would Be, if the heat permitted,
Cheerleaders, are, for lack of state,
Old territorials: the late
Too little, who confront Lenin
With only Tom Swift’s time machine.
None, as an older dreadful says,
“Surmise,” but neither did Cortez,
Not being present. In their ken
Swims Theodore’s own Darien:
Its curving bay, the opal calms,
Viceregal streets of royal palms;
And there above, the columned height.
Is it McKim, or Mead, or White?
Cerro Ancon, above your slopes
Is helix of the bird who hopes.
An oldest bolshevik, time’s true adherent
Maximizes death on every current.