Nero & His Mother (poem)

Nero & His Mother

I arranged to have her murdered at sea
but she just swam to shore as the boat sank;

I can see her doing that, unsurprised
at the attempt but determined to live

even the worst life. When the assassins showed up
she screamed to put the sword lower, lower,

thinking of her months of heaviness with me.
I came as they were about to burn her,

the beautiful body she’d offered me
that I’d never been drunk enough to take.

We are both tremendous monsters.