The Only Emperor

By David Shapiro

The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.
The only emperor is green.
The only emperor is Jewish mysticism.
The only emperor plays tennis with Kenneth.
The only emperor is burning up Isaiah.
The only emperor is a graffiti artist.
The only emperor is a known civil officer of the United States.
The only emperor is the secret temple.
The only emperor suddenly died.
The only emperor doesn’t want to hear.
The only emperor is too much, too much…
The only emperor had been lost in a tunnel.
The only emperor is Scottish.
The only emperor keeps growing and growling and grooming himself.
The only emperor is mostly gray and is also a rhinoceros.
The only emperor—I never thought this would happen.
The only emperor will go away, David.
The only emperor was Jimmy Schuyler without the details
The only emperor is a new design from California.
The only emperor is operating from the sky.
The only emperor is the Wittgenstein we all understand.
The only emperor had to learn to operate the new typewriters.
The only emperor is life without you.
The only emperor betrays the public trust.
The only emperor is just another paper lamp.
The only emperor is a very expensive chocolate flavor.
The only emperor exists because the former president did not resign.
The only emperor is in the fold.
The only emperor is yours; I’m just taking dictation.
The only emperor—here’s no “shoulds,” said my mother, no “shoulds” at all.

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