Julius Caesar is about to be donated to the Salvation Army. I know by the austere face, the gold and coral above the hook-shaped posts and the label in my mother’s handwriting. Caesar’s mother, Aurelia, is known for defending Caesar when he was asked to divorce his first wife. Like my mother, Aurelia was known for her common sense. I have not worn these earrings in years. When I broke up with my partner in another house, I lost enough earrings to restore the pantheon’s once gold-plated doors. Why do I care about replicated currency? In history, the voices of the losers are muted. I hold the earrings once more in the palm of my hands, imagine someone whose needs surpass mine, and the Roman dictator she will pierce through her ears.
In our dream band, on contrabass recorder:
Elizabeth Catanese is a writer and artist who holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College and Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Her poems have most recently appeared in The Night Heron Barks, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Stillwater Review, OVS, Anomalous Press, Referential Magazine, and Calyx, and her most recent books include A Student’s Companion for How to Write Anything (Macmillan, 2019), STEAM Jobs You’ll Love: Architecture and Construction (Rourke, 2018) and Mt. Olympus Theme Park (ABDO, 2021). As a visual artist, Elizabeth’s mixed media paintings and installations have been exhibited in galleries at the College of Saint Elizabeth, Bryn Mawr College, Mercer County College, and the Philadelphia Sketch Club. Her Instagram account @singlemomtwins provides a cartoon chronicle of her life as a parent. Elizabeth lives in Philadelphia with her toddler sons and is an assistant professor of English at Community College of Philadelphia.