Treasure Island

Warren Falcon

(04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)

Expostulations Of The Child-Man, The Pope In Italian Miniatures - A Mystery


The pope in Italian
exclaims, 'Bring me! '
and the echoes bring to him
his bounded wants.

The pope in Italian
twirls his fake mustache, hides behind curtains layered
thick, plots the Blessed Virgin tied upon the tracks, his
dramatic rescue of Her, the imagined headline, Greatest Of Popes.

The pope in Italian
embraces a Statue of St. Micheal when the
guards are not looking, whispers the hour of
the deed, pleads for advancement of the plot.

The pope in Italian
blesses conspiring shadows in mirrored tiles reflecting back, the
guards pretend not to notice his continual muttering, the halting gait,
the concealed silk handkerchief purposefully dropped, they wink at each other.

The pope in Italian
drunk with authority privately erases Sacred Texts with
a child's thick pencil, pardons his large fines for overdue books,
cancels the Vatican subscription to Mystery Magazine.

The pope in Italian
questions Michelangelo 'of hammers, of stone and nakedness,
the heart of the matter, ' whistles when the Artist answers,
and looks away, fingers crossed.

The pope in Italian
wears a black beret, feels his tragedy,
'another fig in hand, ' refills his goblet,
calls for a clean ashtray, another pack of Gauloises.*

The pope in Italian
feeling frisky, ice skates, holds high
his brocaded robes revealing the boyish legs, white,
they are so white, like necks of swans.

The pope in Italian
dreams again he is a young
bomber pilot dropping heavy kisses
backed up in the bomb-bay.

The pope in Italian
hides sullen behind the Golden Chair, carves his
initials there, the fateful date in Roman numerals, and
QUID EST QUOD OMNES PEGGY LEE (Is that all there is, Peggy Lee?) .

The pope in Italian
refusing all sherry before lunch, will not walk past the tapestries,
'The unicorns hate me, ' he whispers, suspicious, bitterly so,
reminds himself, 'Stop trying so hard.'

The pope in Italian
tries too hard, resets the Grandfather Clock of Ages, counts
the coins of childhood, forgets time, the ancient schemes, and dines
outside disguised as Saint Joan of Arc in Flames.

The pope in Italian
stands very still, Romanesque in Night's central fountain,
goes unnoticed but for the corners of his mouth
bleeding verdigris, and the faint smell of smoke.

The pope in Italian
practices his hands in the dark, genuflecting, blessing,
rehearses the pertinent Charlie Chaplin scene alone, the worn
piano roll in his head unraveling before the hastily scattered Host.

The pope in Italian
spies the 'end run, ' tries his hand at cards and whiskey,
bets the entire assembled Holy Guard in full dress 'all the
Church's gold and then some' on a run of Jacks.

The pope in Italian
turns the last page in the Papal Chapel, licks chapped, broken lips too long
at prayer, the votives sputtered at long last, feels his way out backwards,
steps upon the last crack and the Madonna's back is finally broken.

**Famous French unfiltered cigarettes known for their strong tobacco flavor.

***Venus of Eryx', from Sicily, brought to Rome, she embodies 'impure' love, and is the patron goddess of prostitutes

Submitted: Saturday, December 31, 2011
Edited: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

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