Xmas 20

It was the Pax
the pox
the Via Romana.
Cold, the winter
Huddled, choking in burnt rubber
our rifles shielding faces views.

They were old, these Neapolitan prostitutes
anciently ruined
even taking into account our American youth.
Some had plied the trade through World War II
in basements under Nazi sniper's sights
egalitarianly fucking all sides.

Fat, now
irreverently nicknamed "humpty dumpty", they quickly faded
turning tablecloth colors, brown round fingers warm in smoky tire's light
joining Hannibal, and us, and other
conquered conquering Legions rusting away from night.

Wintering with widowed Etruscan maidens
who make Roman all invaders
giving each birth, one at a time.

Napoli, the Gut --1979

notes from the nuclear age