For a moment I felt like a portraitist
in a ruined coat, summoned to a castle,
the Black Forest moon on the horse's tail,
the coach tumbling over roots.
Right from the start I drank too much,
my hands irrational, pouring and lifting,
then pouring again. If memory serves me,
your parents raised the subject of faith.
That's when I said I felt like Pope Innocent X
on his throne, baring his fangs, barking
from his dark century in Francis Bacon's
plum-blue smears. You started to cough,
so I said I felt more like Diego Velazquez,
putting the last brushstroke
on his Dwarf with a Dog.
Forgive me, Sarah.