Years ago, around the same time that Anna Nicole Smith passed away, there was an incredible finding not too far from where Romeo and Juliet takes place in the famous Shakespeare play. It didn’t receive much media attention but I thought it was the most fantastic story I had ever heard.
It should serve as a beacon for the love we have for our wife, husband, children, mother, father, brothers, sisters, and family. But instead it was buried among the rubbish of American TV.
I’m putting together a chapbook of poetry for future publication and was going through some poetry I had written and found this.
So, Happy Valentine’s Day, I guess.
Six Thousand Year Old Love
Six thousand year old love, four thousand four hundred and one years previous to Romeo and Juliet, and twenty-five miles south. Mantua has become the new Verona. What would England’s finest and most famous writer think now?
What would he say?
Absent of literary geniuses that Monday, Menotti was the only one there, pawing daintily through rich soil. She did her best to illuminate love doomed to death, uncovering from raw brown earth, these lovers of Mantua.
Three days later Anna died.
She passed over through orgies of demons to join Romeo and Juliet, Billy, her son, and
Six thousand year old news is surely not news. Just ask CNN and MSNBC. The story of love buried under tabloids and tabloids of stone, dirt, and volcanic dust is not new.
It is ancient.
They are the new, ancient, star-crossed lovers, and not Lindsay Lohan. They are not Anna. So they are not news. They are Shakespeare’s fleshless reincarnations of tragedy,
the world’s oldest and greatest love story. But old lovers are old news. Besides, what would America want with a six thousand year old love? That is not news. And it is not American Tragedy.
So this beatific Neolithic love will be dug, shipped, and encased. And new star-crossed lovers of Verona, will drive down
the Autostrada del Brennero,
past Isolalta, Salette, and Ghisiolo,
and take the Legnago to Mantua.
They’ll go into a sterile museum, and marvel at the longest love in recorded history, emulating the bony proof that love is eternal.
Some will mourn Anna. Some will buy chocolate flavored roses with white gold and diamond stems for Valentine’s Day. And some will forget love exists, as chocolates turns to fat, roses wither and die, and diamonds turn to blood.
That is American Tragedy;
The Real American Tragedy.
Anthony N. White is a writer currently living in Rochester, NY.
He can be heckled on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @Ruthieshusband