The President Orders His Tomb on the Roof of Trump Tower
A variation of “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed’s Church” by Robert Browning
By Ruth Zamoyta
New York, 20—
Vanity, said the Senate, vanity!
Draw round my bed: is Barron keeping back?
Daughters, sons of mine…ah God, I know not! Well—
Ivana, Marla, Melania your mothers,
Crooked Hillary envied them, so fair they were!
What’s done is done, and she is dead beside,
Dead long ago when I was President,
And as she died, so must we die ourselves,
And from there you may perceive the world’s a dream.
Life, how and what is it? As here I sit
In a wheelchair, dying by degrees,
Hours and long hours in the dead night, I ask
‘Do I live, am I dead?’ Fame, fame seems all.
Trump Tower ever was the place for fame;
And so, about this rooftop tomb. I fought
With tooth and nail to get the permits, you know;
—Hillary cozened me, despite my care;
Shrewd was that snatch of land in Central Park South
She graced her carrion with, God curse the same!
Yet still my roof is not so cramped, and from here
One looks down upon her ugly granite tomb,
The crowd much less than my inauguration,
And up into the smoggy dome where lives
Pale Male, and pigeons are sure to lurk:
And I shall fill my slab of basalt there,
And above my golden Tower take my rest
With nine gold columns round me, two and two,
The odd one at my feet where Barron stands:
Peach-blossom marble all, the rare, the ripe
As a fresh-slapped ass by a mighty hand.
— Hillary with her crooked onion-stone,
Put me where I may look at her! True peach,
Rosy and flawless: how I earned the prize!
Draw close: the uprising and impeachment
—What then? So many deals in so little time!
Children, you would not be my death? Go dig
The 6th hole in Jersey where the sand-trap stood,
Drop water gently till the surface sink,
And if ye find…Ah, God, I know not, I!…
Bedded in store of rotten oak-leaves, soft,
And corded in an American flag,
Some lump, ah God, of lapis lazuli,
Big as a black man’s head cut off at the nape,
Blue as a vein o’er Invanka’s breast…
Kids, all have I bequeathed you, casinos, all,
That brave Mar-a-Lago with its pool,
So, let the blue lump poise between my knees,
Like Scaramucci’s cock in both his hands
You worship in the closets like the gays,
For Hillary shall not choose but see and burst!
Swift as a bullet fly our years:
Man goes to the grave, and where is he?
Did I say basalt for my slab, kids? Black—
’Twas ever Obama-black I meant! How else
Shall you contrast my frieze to come beneath?
The bas-relief in gold you promised me,
The soap stars and bunnies, and perchance
Some throne and staff, with a fancy vase,
Sean Spicer and his sermon in the bush,
Kellyanne in a halo, and Bannon
Ready to twist her phony tits off,
And Ginsburg breaking the tables… I know
You’re blowing me off! What do they whisper,
Child of my bowels, Barron? Ah, you hope
To revel in my tax havens while I gasp
Bricked o’er with beggar’s moldy sandstone
Which Hillary from her tomb-top shimmies at!
Nay, kids, you love me—all of ivory, then!
’Tis ivory you stand pledged to, lest I grieve.
Mar-a-Lago must need be left behind, alas!
One tusk, pure white as the bone spur on my heel,
There’s plenty ivory somewhere in the world—
And have I not Paul Ryan’s ear to pry
Tax breaks for you, and emoluments,
And cute interns with big tits and smooth legs?
—That’s if you carve my epitaph right,
Choice Russian, picked phrase, Stalin’s every word,
No sissy crap like Hillary’s second line—
Probably plagiarized from Ghandi or Oprah!
And then how I shall lie through centuries,
And hear the blessed mutter of the horns,
And see dogs made and eaten all day long,
Feel the sun grow hotter each year, and taste
Good strong thick stupefying acid-rain!
For as I lie, all hours of day and night,
Dying in state and by such slow degrees,
I fold my arms as if they clasped a crook,
And stretch my feet forth straight as stone can point,
And let my best words, for a shroud, drop
Into great laps and folds of sculptor’s-work:
And as the sunlight dwindles, and strange thoughts
Grow, with a certain humming in my ears,
About the life before I lived this life,
And this life too, popes, billionaires and kings,
Vladimir’s whispers at the table after dinner,
Your slender mothers with their Botox eyes,
New-found executive orders, by the day,
And marble’s language, Russian pure, discreet,
—Aha, ‘Greater love hath none than this’ quotes she?
And the fake news said I hired the thug. Wrong!
Evil and brief has been my influence.
All lapis, all, kids! Else Mike Pence gets
The hotel chain! Will you ever eat my heart?
Ever your eyes were as a lizard’s quick,
They glitter like your mothers’ for my wealth,
Or you would spruce up my pathetic frieze,
Get the best Italian designer up here,
Encircle it with the busts of all my wives,
And to the ottoman tie a slut
That in her struggle knocks a wine glass down,
To comfort me on my entablature
Whereon I am to lie till I must ask
‘Do I live, am I dead?’ There, leave me, there!
For you have stabbed me with disloyalty
To death—you wish it—God, you wish it! Stone—
Sandstone, a-crumble! Clammy squares which sweat
As if the corpse they keep were oozing through—
And no more lapis to delight the world!
Well go! I bless you. Fewer footlights there,
But in a row: and, going, turn your backs
—Ay, like little faggot altar boys,
And leave me alone, atop my tower of fame,
That I may watch at leisure if she leers—
Old Hillary, at me, from her onion-stone,
As still she envied me, the loser, the bitch!