The Lafayette Baths


I heard it mispronounced as Charles Grief.
All right; that was me. I was nineteen
or so, an English major and a drama queen,
a boy-besotted druggie and a thief.
I wanted only what I wanted, chief
among those childish wishes to be seen
as an aristocratic aesthete-libertine—
casting that error in humorous relief.
Yesterday, one more court of appeals
struck down another law that said a man
can’t marry his special friend; time is a lathe
that carves as much as time’s a turning wheel
—everything is permitted that once was banned—
we are each the water in which we bathe.

One thought on “The Lafayette Baths

  1. I’d think about

    Yesterday, today’s court of appeals

    instead of

    Yesterday, one more court of appeals.

    for three obvious reasons: 1), better prosody; 2) to get the double-entendre on “today” that sets up the point you’re about to make; 3) your original line is just too stolid and prosaic compared to the sparkling flow of most of the other lines. It’s like the Volga Boatmen’s song in the middle of Schubert’s Trout Quintet.

    But, you may be a believe in the idea that you must occasionally throw in a space-filler to let your audience rest a moment. In which case, leave it as is.

    And yes, I will be more than happy to edit your first book of poems, so long as I’m credited. Always wanted to be Foxhall Edwards to some young Eugene Gant.

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