Gérard de Nerval

Matthew, heir of Wall Street wealth,
son of Martha's Vineyard mirth,
you stood atop Vail Mountain, dazzling
ski-goggles pushed up on your forehead.
Chimera, it was you who bought me
my first true alcoholic drink
at "the Red Lion," one of the
resort's most happening half-lit bars,
on the same evening that the nosy
bellhop would later spy me praying
at the argyle-stockinged feet
of the reincarnated Bacchus.
Reckless tickler of volcanoes,
you pickled the mid-August lightning
and, shameless, shelved it in the pupils
of your bright dishonest eyes.

I hear that the stock market crash
broke your mother's clay heart, Matthew.
Regardless, should you call my name
(or Laurel's, or Hortensia's,
or green-eyed Myrtle's), against my will
I'll drift back to that snowy hill.

translated from the French by Jenna Le