Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Pope who retired

The ritualistic death was not for me.
Expiring on silk embroidery,
awaiting leave of this Holy scene,
surrounded by purple hens
readying themselves to preen.

So I stepped aside - said I had a plan
that an energetic younger man
should take on the Papal role.
"I'm old - I need to contemplate
the transition of my soul."

In truth I wanted to drink whisky, eat
hash brownies. bonbons, gelato treats.
Have an onanistic glance
at hard pornography. Hell,
I was the Pope - I'll take my chance.

Have you held Cosa Nostra contraband
hot and scary in your hand?
Sniffed a teener of good cocaine?
No me neither. I had to understand
the visceral thrill; the ache of shame.

My earnest hope is that I'll still have time
between snorting up a final line
and that interrupting cough of Death,
to repent these sins and make amends.
I'll kneel, steeple fingers, suck in my breath:

"Please Dear God - weren't we almost friends?!"

 
First published in The Guardian 10/2014  https://witness.theguardian.com/search?q=pope