And so the freshman in the flouncy blouse
enticed me to Princeton
where she studied something obnubilating,
microgenetics or deep math
or the Eleusinian Emulation.
At the Nassau Inn:
Yardley in the air, oregano, vegan curry.
I walked barefoot on the greensward,
channeling a new attitude: blasé.
Just how I woke up on a farmhouse floor
among cloven nudes
is not a thing I clearly recollect.
Gin gimlets, perhaps, a string of them,
followed by a jaunt with others
in the bed of a pick-up,
yes, a weaving among solid and broken lines,
in fog, between trees and trees.
At some point, there was a trivia game.
Everyone knew everything.
The names of fault lines,
the genera of whales and of worms,
even what the sheet was called
in It Happened One Night:
Colbert and Gable, remember?—
nothing between them but a contrivance.
Ashtrays spilled and reeked
and hardened egg yolk pocked the countertops.
They were slovens, those rich kids.
I wasn’t rich but I was dainty, or had been,
till I woke up bedraggled, among foreign bodies,
with a choke in my throat and a clammy film on me.