The Grail Irony

by John Milbury-Steen

Once solicitation of the aid
of poison sugar in my lemonade—
my neck stuck out acknowledging the need
of aqua viva in which death has peed,
irony, all common sense denied—
would have proved unpalatable to pride.

I didn't want no rose of death odeur,
I didn't want to die to live, no sir,
nor seek interment as a way to soar,
nor think that so much less was much more,
nor discipline applied to prison bare
would unlock cells and make new sails appear,

but now that homely grail of poison cup
I find at every turn and lap it up.