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A MEDICI SERVANT RECOUNTS LEO X’S CORONATION Muted by stable doors, the fireworks thudded like a monger dropping pomegranates in a firkin. Francisco whimpered as I scrubbed his foreskin with a mare’s brush. I remember the gold flakes fell like flayed scales from baccalà and his wispy exhalations grew raspy when he retched, shivering, gripping the boards as he hunched inside a slushy trough. Spattering, his inky bile across a pile of rags resembled a squid bashed repeatedly with an oar. I didn’t ask how it felt leaping from a cake naked and aurum-skinned to inaugurate His Holiness’ reign on the coldest dusk in Rome since the year’s first flurries. Maria gossiped that she glimpsed the Duke of Ferrara kissing noble daughters at random and a troupe of shirtless Moors

Adam Tavel

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Permafrost Magazine Summer Issue, 36.2  
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