When he took me out with his people, you could see he was ashamed of me.
The next youngest guy there was twenty years older than I.
Observe the parent bird strangely urging her babies from the nest.
The poet’s eye is a mother bird, and the tears are jumping off his cheeks!
Come, Corydon, forget your Alexis. Forget Amaryllis’s moods.
For this emphasis on sensual pleasure betrays your will to revenge.
The pursuit of knowledge is always a screen. Likewise, the asking advice.
People are poets. They just like to see certain themes being handled.
But if the artifact does not mean a thing until the maker is safely dead,
What are the audiences experiencing as I stand here and recite?
I have sixteen personalities, if each of my moods counts. And I
Have no personality at all if you’re expecting consistency.
The serpent moves quickly, Palaemon. Its head is a den of thieves.
Look how the sentinels inside are slightly parting the metallic curtains!
How appalling it is, in childhood, seeing that beautiful male brutes
Quite frequently, without any study, are masters of magical speech.
How appalling it is, in childhood, to be so often made to admit
That the lethal force of language is in the keeping of the oversexed.
I have no last words nor any last wish. Vive la différence!
Oh, but Tityrus, before I go, let us share a bowl of wine.
Let us share a bowl, Tityrus. Your Meliboeus must be on his way.
I’m off to the wrong airport: 4th of July, 2048.
Anthony Madrid lives in Victoria, Texas. His poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2013, Boston Review, Fence, Harvard Review, Lana Turner, LIT, and Poetry. His first book is called I AM YOUR SLAVE NOW DO WHAT I SAY (Canarium Books, 2012).