To Napoleon’s Penis

O IMPERIAL WATERWORKS,
WHO KNOWS WHY
YOU GOT LOPPED OFF
DURING HIS AUTOPSY,
SMUGGLED TO CORSICA
BY A PRIEST,
KEPT BY HIS FAMILY
TILL 1916, SOLD
TO A BRITISH COLLECTOR,
DISPLAYED
IN NEW YORK IN ’27
(A PIECE OF LEATHER,
A SHRIVELED EEL,

PRONOUNCED THE PRESS),
AND FINALLY SOLD AGAIN
IN 1977
TO DR. JOHN LATTIMER,
FAMOUS COLLECTOR
AND EQUALLY FAMOUS
UROLOGIST,
WHO KEPT YOU HIDDEN
UNDER HIS BED
FOR THIRTY YEARS,
FEELING YOUR NOW-NOTORIOUS
ROYAL PROTUBERANCE
HAD WITHSTOOD
UNSEEMLY ABUSE.
YOU WERE, AFTER ALL,
THE SAME EUROPEAN
PENINSULA THAT NESTLED
AGAINST THE BACK
OF MARENGO, RIDING
OVER THE ALPS,
AND FLOPPED ALONG
THROUGH THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG,
IN WHICH 90,000
PENISES WERE LOST,
AND THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN,
FROM WHICH ONLY ONE
PENIS IN TEN
WOULD RETURN.
YOUR VICTORY AT AUSTERLITZ
DISMEMBERED
THE HABSBURG EMPIRE,
COMING, AS IT DID,
ONLY ONE YEAR
AFTER YOU WERE CROWNED
BY THE PENIS OF PIUS VII
AS IT SWUNG IN ITS HOLY
IRRELEVANCE BENEATH
THE PAPAL CASSOCK.
O JERKIFIED DISPENSER OF
THE NAPOLEONIC CODE,
WILTED CONQUEROR
OF JOSÉPHINE, MARIE LOUISE,
PAULINE BELLISLE FOURES,
ELÉONORE DENUELLE
DE LA PLAIGNE,
VICTORIA KRAUS,
ET ALIAE, ALTHOUGH
HISTORIANS PETITIONED
FOR PERMISSION TO VIEW YOU,
DR. LATTIMER FELT
A REGAL APPURTENANCE
SUCH AS YOURSELF
REQUIRED HIS PROTECTION
AND WOULD NOT PRODUCE
THE RED LEATHER
PRESENTATION CASE,
ADORNED WITH A SMALL
GOLD N, BENEATH
AN IMPERIAL CROWN,
BUT,
WHEN LATTIMER DIED,
HIS DAUGHTER PERMITTED
ONE LUCKY SCHOLAR
TO GLIMPSE YOU.
LAID OUT
ON COTTON WOOL,
WITHERED, WHITE,
YOU LOOKED LIKE
A BABY’S FINGER.
PERHAPS IT TOOK
A WOMAN TO SEE
THAT YOU WERE JUST
A DICK.

-Dennis Caswell

*Originally published, as “Napoleons Penis,” in Clover.

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