The Lost Wine

Matthew Sweeney

          after Paul Valéry

Every single day, under God knows
what sky, I’ve thrown into the ocean

an offering to nothing — a glass of wine.

Maybe I’m obeying a soothsayer.
Perhaps for the sake of my heart

I dream of blood as I pour the wine.

I love its transparency — it reminds
me of a long-smoked rose, snatched back,
pure, from the currents of the sea.

This wine is lost, the waves are drunk,
and I saw jumping into the bitter air
many faces, all of them profound.