ALB (02/28/66 / Tennessee)


The lawn is broad and green today,
despite the way you sit there,
staring slack across the furniture
like a used-up Rubens’ odalisque.

The coast winds still sweep in
blue skies and children’s voices
from the strand to where you sit,
outstretched, upon a cast iron chair
that etches its delicate pattern
along your fair and dimpled thighs.

It’s all the style – the rage, you say,
this currant jam with toast and tea
that oozes as well as marmalade
on its sterling silver serving tray.

Then later, cucumber sandwiches
and radishes cut in roses, an assortment
of baby vegetables – puréed, glacéed
or underdone, a squab prepared past recognition,
rotisseried in the latest fashion
and nestled on a bed of funny lettuce.

The cost is of no consequence;
money and time are ours to burn.
The profit and the past should earn
an adequate fire for your escape,
while I sit back and speculate
how you’ll look when you return.

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