(for Karen Swallow Prior)
“Lasciate ogni speranza….”
I should avoid incendiary speech,
you tell me — and I know that you’re a wise,
discriminating counselor. You reach
upward, and patiently direct your eyes
toward Heaven. Nothing in my mind denies
the virtue that you manifest therein.
I just deny that your advice applies
to me, that I am subject to such spin.
At Papa Cuomo once, that mouth of sin,
I shouted out in cordial Florentine
of loss eternal, cursed his stare, his grin,
his doctrine, both pernicious and obscene.
Am I to wish his heirs a pleasant day?
I ask you, Karen: what would Dante say?