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Grand Expensive Vista

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As we sipped and mingled,
regaled
with oldfangled
canapés and beguiled,
or entertained at least, by gargled
oldies, I disengaged
and angled
across grass tenderly groomed,
past where electric tiki torches gleamed,
and, alone, gazed,
now truly beguiled,
at my hosts’ grand
expensive vista, mortgaged,
yes, and, yes, remortgaged.
A low gold
moon glowed
against a plush black sky gauzed,
even filigreed,
with stars. Gowned
in old-growth oaks glazed
with moonlight over their autumn gilt,
the hills glowed
in concord with the golden moon. I lingered,
glad—discomfited and glad—
at what my friends’ greed
for beauty afforded me. I argued,
self against self, what they’d gained
and lost, and me with them, entangled
as friendship entangles. I nearly groaned
aloud with want before my friend grabbed
my elbow. “Gorgeous, eh?” I grinned
and agreed,
my voice greased
with hidden envy. From behind us, grilled
sirloin, pedigreed
meat sublimating on embers, triggered
another hunger. Life was not just good,
but too good:
aged beef, aged wine after bourbon. We hungered,
and all the way back to his engorged
glass table, hunger was our guide.

Source: Poetry (May 2010)

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This poem originally appeared in the May 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

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Grand Expensive Vista

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