Maxentius showed me his poems. He wrote as though pages were precious. He chose words so carefully that he made them seem fragile, as if their permanence made them vulnerable.
No one could speak such words. They could only exist on a page. They could only be understood on a page. He would mention a chink in a column and from that you must know that he is in a temple. A hand touches his neck and you must know that he has loved her for years, though she will never have a name.
Perhaps it was meant as an antidote to permanence. The centuries render most names meaningless. Instead, let the woman always be a new woman. Let the temple always be a new temple.
"You are a man with no God searching for eternity," I told him.
"Yes, aren't I interesting?"
"God is interesting."
"God," he muttered, "I would cure the world of God."
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