Bill was a clever latch-key kid from the New South.
Ted was the lastborn son of a stubborn aristocrat.
They met in a city of whitened sepulchers,
and they tried to stop the world from changing.
They saw to it that people
who were once manacled into oppression
would be patronized into insignificance.
They seduced two generations of trusting women
into trading their freedom for safety,
and they modeled the protocols for successful date rape.
They saw to it that the sober, qualified clerks
who insisted on speaking hard truths
would be exiled for making the truth so hard.
They called their cynicism centrism.
They called their solipsism pluralism.
They turned all the scales into sieves,
and insisted on paying by the pound.