Valparaiso Song

Alan Gould

No not a hundred days
of biscuit and beef,
nor sea's exacting phrase
can bring a man to this-
made jocund by his grief-
but brandy's ambient kiss

and Valparaiso's girls
in March of 1902
whose skins the sheen of pearl
gave all that I could desire
until the gaudy blue
of morning's obvious fire

re-made me on a beach
penniless, alone.
Though then is out of reach
and now will not be missed
oblivion be my own
benign determinist.