After “Vor dem Gesetz,” At Home, Oct ’20

He was sat in an obscure corner of the world, 
In Memphis (of late), and left alone to read
Obscure histories, of the fishing of sea-bream,
And grouper, of the proper ecological relations, 
Of sponge, tortoise, and the sunlight which scatters 
Thru the unlanc'd emeraldry of sea-skin,
Their holy bilayer. This curriculum 

Like most, went totally unfulfilled, unrepentant though he stayed 
Thereto. Power, charm, height were promised
Him at the outset of this, 
An odyssey in Aramaic, but the cashing-in thereof
Proved plus dificcile than expected,
And there is your general lesson. 

By whom were such promises forsworn, whose
Was the setting hand which him there
In prematurely (truly) aging Memphis him set?
Keen, but too late arrived. This door

Now shall close. For you alone stood it
Ajar and now nevermore shall its threshold
Suffer the calls of prostrating neighbors. 

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