Crapulous Impression

(To J.S.)

Still life, still life ... the high-lights shine
   Hard and sharp on the bottles: the wine
   Stands firmly solid in the glasses,
   Smooth yellow ice, through which there passes
   The lamp’s bright pencil of down-struck light.
   The fruits metallically gleam,
   Globey in their heaped-up bowl,
   And there are faces against the night
   Of the outer room—faces that seem
   Part of this still, still life ... they’ve lost their soul.
   And amongst these frozen faces you smiled,
   Surprised, surprisingly, like a child:
   And out of the frozen welter of sound
   Your voice came quietly, quietly.
   “What about God?” you said. “I have found
   Much to be said for Totality.
   All, I take it, is God: God’s all—
   This bottle, for instance ...” I recall,
   Dimly, that you took God by the neck—
   God-in-the-bottle—and pushed Him across:
   But I, without a moment’s loss
   Moved God-in-the-salt in front and shouted: “Check!”
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