Wendy Taylor Carlisle
To Paris, Love Oenone


 It's just an apple, you said, and lobbed it.
 That was after you left our son, and me and claimed
it was your mother's blunder, her cold shoulder,
caused the fuss over that Gold Delicious. 
"For the Fairest," you said when you chose a goddess.
Of course, from three lame bribes, you favored lust. 
How fast you fell  and then how little time went past
before you blamed  the gods, the fates, the moon. 
Worse than your war is me here
on this mountain with its famous wind,
imagining a claret sea, your fingers run amok 
in her gold hair.  Promised the loveliest,
you got what you got for being a hound.
I pulled my hand back, never touched your wound.




Princes of Wine, the Slaves of Water


Ruling the room, his foot
on the bar rail, my elbow
in the spilled beer, we wait for

closing time. We can't say no to
driving 105, to looking straight
into a blind man's eyes.

He has the habit of more--
two cans of black beans, two
boxes of Trojans, two bottles of

Côtes du Rhone. For me
it's the extra man
I can never resist

his Oh, Oh, Oh. Fugitive
princes, we wait
for coronation, for the final

sigh, for last best,
the big one. All night
we wait the bartender out.


(title: after Caesar Vallejo)