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This poem is taken from PN Review 73, Volume 16 Number 5, May - June 1990.

1829 Alison Brackenbury
1829

I

In my new room, between Vienna and Virgo,
The air, like good coffee, tastes fragrant and
      black.
In shifting starlight I read a page
By Fraulein von Greiner. A half-life ago
She turned her fine nose and her classical gaze
On her father's still salon, for which I played.
She murmurs, 'He was the most ordinary soul,
Who preferred, to our learning, the silliest
    joke.
He jumped on a chair, then miaowed, like a
     cat!'

'Will she still pay you?' my young wife cried,
Although I had sung her the Fraulein's shock,
The lilting cry from the throat of a cat.
Disturbed, she woke, loud morning near;
Pupils hummed luminous and black
Moon's answers tugged warm seas to fold.
...


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