Thursday, May 30

Come Mai, Signor Cuomo?

By Peter Fortunato

Deflate that buffed chest,
lower your head,
and look at the shadow
trailing you, sir.

The rest of us see how
you have ignored
to your own peril
and immanent political demise
a pit of patriarchal excess
whose bottom is so ancient

of the Roman Empire
have yet to excavate
its basis completely.

certain artifacts
belong in museums
as recollections of how some men—
the Caesars and the little Caesars—
once presumed they were
identical with the law,
and their phalluses
emblematic of it.

Who can remember
all the details
of Roman decay, and what
do they have to do with
a governor today,
who seemed so provident,
and admirable

but is apparently
only another
example of decadence?
I’ll tell you: the evidence
exceeds your excuses.

I have sought
to comprehend why
you might have thought
your expansive warmth
and unsought caresses,
your authoritative demeanor,
and punitive reactivity
were acceptable,
weren’t criminal,
were simply the style—
the Italian style, you said—
of a popular politician:

Andrew, these comprise
the shadow
under your feet
and behind your back,
reminiscent of one
belonging to
a famous fictional doctor,
and it has wrought what
you too can no longer hide.

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