Drank three glasses of wine,
trying to choose between
eggs benedict and eggs royale.
My companion, losing patience,
told me to toss a coin.
I didn’t have a coin.
He didn’t have a coin.
Nobody had a coin.
I left my companion
eating his steak tartare
and went outside to find someone with a coin,
and was almost arrested for begging
and being drunk and disorderly.
The police officer didn’t have a coin.
‘Tell me, inspector,’ I said,
‘in my situation, what would you do,
which would you choose,
eggs royale or eggs benedict?’
She laughed: ‘In your situation, I’d have both.’
The blessed have left their cellars
for somewhere pastoral and luminous
recalled from childhood,
or perhaps it was in a book.
Hearts hopping with fear and hunger,
they left the city in a stolen tank,
believing the signs were positive
and a prelude to heaven,
twisting their creed and distorting the facts.
But one of them understood
and died quietly and quickly
before they reached the city limits.