(For, though not to, D. M. C.)
The member with the face like a pale ham
Settles his stomachs in the leather chair.
The member with the mustard-color hair
Chats with the member like a curly ram,
Then silence like the shutting of a clam,
Gulps, and slow eating, and the waiters’ stare—
Like prosperous leeches settling to their fare
The members gorge, distending as they cram.
And I am fiery ice—and a hand knocks
Inside my heart. Three hours till God comes true,
When there’s no earth or sky or time in clocks
But only hell and paradise and you.
Life bows his strings! I shout the amazing tune!
…The dullest member drops his coffee spoon.
This poem is in the public domain.
“Lunch at a City Club” by Stephen Vincent Benét was published in Benet’s collection Heavens and Earth: A Book of Poems (1920).