The Emperor’s Insomnia

by Greg Santos

The Emperor can be found roaming his beloved palace gardens, through the pavilions, the man-made mountains, the hedge-mazes. Sometimes the Emperor stands peacefully by his window for hours, gazing beyond his palace walls at the gray moonscape in the distance. Only at dawn when the tiny figures of villagers emerge, which to him all look like ants on a windowsill, does the Emperor feel a seismic rage erupt within him. Every morning he has a giant pearl crushed into his juice to accompany his favorite breakfast dish: poached ostrich eggs on buttery toast. Only after his hearty breakfast can the Emperor safely get through the day without feeling as if he is caught in the mouth of a Venus flytrap closing its teeth. But those days are growing few and far between.


Greg Santos is the poetry editor of pax americana. (Click here to make a donation to Greg, half of which will support 6S.)