Summer 2010 - THE POTOMAC

The Pope's Poop
   Valerie Wallace

"You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters.
"On the contrary, it increases the problem." Pope Benedict XVI speaking in Cameroon about HIV/AIDS,
March 17, 2009

"He thinks his shit don't stink."
- Slang

Swaddled, the baby pope poops yellow sweet
jello. Chocolate pudding, chocolate stream. His face
grimaces red as a little napkin'd sugar beet.

In the forest, the boy pope finds a nest of leaves.
He rolls like an animal, grunts, then cowers. When
he poops he's a toad, about to leap. He's Adam. He's Eve.

Years from now, a sermon recalls a sinful deed
but leaves out his boy pope's poop gathered in a knot.
It waits. He waits. Laughter downstairs; upstairs, a thief.

Young man pope's poop hardens in his rancid city chambers.
So much to write. So many sins to conceive.
Bread left on a silver salver. O twisted face in the mirror.

Look now, the grown man pope's poop on a platter. Dressed
in white, dressed in red. What's black and brown
and latexed over? A finger lingers. Scraped clean, kissed.

Fever dream, fever poop. Rats scatter. Have you been ill, pope?
Money maids clean sheets nurses. Poop pus torn anus
fester sphincter rupture rapture. Blister broke.

What is it like to have your pope poop protected?
Your poop has powers! Virus in, virus out.
Te Deum, dirty words. You're covered. Ave, de infectus.


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