Rome burns, and I stand helpless against the flames. I can do nothing to stop or even slow their progress. I could run away, but I do not. Instead, I stand my ground. I watch all of this beauty being consumed, and I try to commit every graceful line to memory, so that it will never be really lost. Not as long as I'm alive to remember.
But that is, of course, the problem.
I can not allow myself die in this blaze. Eventually, my skin blistering and my hair singeing, I will have no choice but to flee. So that I can stay alive, to remember and to mourn. So that somewhere in the world, this beauty will live on, even if it's only in my head.
Rome burns all around me. I can not allow myself to burn with it. No matter how much I want to stay here forever. No matter how much I want to die with it, my ashes intermingled.