September 2002 / Volume Three / Issue One
NOTE: This poem is divided into 2 parts. Click ">" at the bottom of the page to access the next.
Aaron Gwyn
Killing Popes

I killed my first at the age of six,
head of a Chewbacca®
I’d sharpened to a slender, brown point.
I went up to his throne
right after the show,
and when he leaned towards me
with those two fingers
(temporal power/apostolic succession)
something inside me caved,
and I gave it to him
right in the wattle.

Since then I’ve done fourteen more,
including a decoy Pope
they put there
just to confuse me.

I can name them,
though it takes both hands,
four toes of the left foot.
There’s Harold and Percy,
Clifford and Terence,
Ernest “Doc” Henley,
Howard and Jason–
Hugh, Morley, Pete, Tim, Clarence
(our first black Pope)–
Corgis and, what’s his ass,
Pope Lester VII.
Some I blew up, others stabbed– one I
jumped at from behind a statue
of Assisi,
and gave a pontifical heart attack.
I keep waiting for something to happen,
the Switzers to come hunting,
but the papers say
sympathy for Catholicism
is much on the wane.

What I really want
is the big Pope,
the head Pope,
I believe they call him.
They keep him, these days,
in Richmond, Virginia,
right south a spread of tobacco.
He’s got a mansion and a lake,
a jet ski he uses on warmer days.
Bunnies fly from L.A.
to service him weekly.
He’s a good life, this Pope,
sits in tubs of bubbles
and eats special cakes
former Popes have blessed.
They say he dunks them in water,
just for the taste.