the Billionaire's Apologia

The Billionaire’s Apologia
I pass this wretch sprawled against a wall,
and idly but with studied bonhomie
drop into his cap a dollar bill,
while wondering at the deep disparity
between his stubbled face begrimed with soot,
his vomit-spotted  shirt from latest binge,
and my Versace suit and cashmere coat,
suppressing pity while I flee the stench
by recollecting Jesus’ calm acceptance
of the everlasting presence of the poor,
result, I’m sure he knew, of ignorance,
about which bleeding hearts think I don’t care,
For they can’t see I’m like that Nazarene:
this no-good’s black-toothed  grin reveals that he
is more than satisfied to have the means  
for one more drink. And friends at last week’s tea
applauded my attempts to edify
such scum through my museums, my gallery —
those boring things I found to justify
my wealth to God, as well as me to me.



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