Try telling the man
decapitated in the arena
by Maximus Decimus Meridius
in the film Gladiator
that the whole world is connected,
every blade of grass
and small pink flower
and emperor's thumb
is at one with every canyon,
bloody sea creature, swan and snail.
Try explaining as his vision slides around
that one day he'll be in fields
with his family
for serving the now-long-extinct empire
that found him and put him here.
As he perspires,
all nerves and sinews,
try piecing together the story of life for him
as you see it, with its long running time
and beautiful streams
and hallowed and fateful actors.
You'll try to make it sound convincing
like they did when they told you.
It will be all right, there's nothing to worry about, you will say,
and wish him on his way.
All the while his body stands over there,
very much detached.