A Visit to the Patron

A piece of porcelain could tell from one caress the honorific of its bearer.

The bone of the China was porous as was the noble façade, but no, no one broke.

And there I stood, waiting to be seated, and there I caught a shard of the words he spoke.

“Into the china cabinet you will go,” said he, for he knew those cups far dearer

Than an agèd cartographer knew which river or which fleeting pathway was nearer.

Glancing aslant at the saucer, so vex’d, he star’d seemingly with intent to provoke.

And there I stood, waiting to be seated, and there I still wore my dripping, drench’d, wet cloak.

He rose from his chair, and, like an oracle, flung the cup, reading its shatter’d mirror.

At that, I accepted the invitation which the porcelain then spoke much clearer,

“Destroy us to know us, and then you can show us how severely Art deserves to choke.”

So there the duke and I swirl’d, like the cups’ dust, like a storm cloud, or well-deserv’d gun smoke.

And there the duke and I danc’d, bringing destruction and with it an artwork far dearer.