I was a well-bred boy in tailored velvet.
Most days I made my parents mostly proud.
But when I saw them pouring homemade cordial
at a soiree one night, I turned primordial.
That gleaming candy-colored stuff…I vowed
I’d hunt it down wherever they might shelve it.
I found the vial and went on a tear:
yanked out the stopper, took a rabid quaff,
belched, ran from corridor
to labyrinth to solarium and back, drank more,
cleaned out the after-dinner mints, whacked off
to dryad statuettes, puked in the urn,
pulled down the hanging gardens frond by frond,
set fire to model ships and watched them burn
and sink in the koi pond,
released the hounds of the House of Garamond,
and landed in the lap of my au pair.
She hauled me off to bed, cursing in German.
The constellations on my ceiling spun…
Foretold in that fake glow I could determine
vaguely the shape of my first grownup task:
to find out, vial by vial, flask by flask,
what is and isn’t fun.