Kirstein's Table

As by wine unimpaired, the intoxication
ran high. Demeanor and curiosity—
not prying—was the clearest.
Manners like distilled waters from a
glacier and steamy hidden

jungles, the white and black lucidity
passed around in cups.
Long moments of silence that oddly resembled
the tablecloth, guests in a
kinship of guests.

Twenty years later, I dip bread in
the clarity ritual of his every night's last supper.
Words flowed from a grainy chair,
Lincoln Kirstein alluding to Don Quixote
"Truths are more beneficial than extravagances."

Nor kitsch nor melodrama, but very delicate stuff—
the unblemished unconventionality
where scotch whisky was poured from battered
decanters. And the frozen wonton soup
thawing out on our plates:

perpetrators of the magic. Himself
in the background, cordial,