Christian Wiman

A Sketch

An air of old hotel about him: bitters and rye,
pornographers in penguin suits, glaucous Dover sole.

Derringer words—doff, peruse
which he hardly needs to use, to use.

Morals as involved as baklava.
He brushes crumbs from his lapel as if he had one.

Death? Who knew the rube’s recessive treasures
better than he, who knew himself?

So he folded, a paragon of suave
aced at the end by galumphing luck.