Stephen Dunn

I tasted and spat

as the experts did

so I could taste again.

I put my nose in. I cleansed

my palate with bread.

I friend guided me;

he thought because I drank often

I drank well.

He thought I might be looking

for subtleties, as he was.

My vocabulary was "good"

and "not so good."

I was usually a drinker

looking for a mood.

We moved among the oak barrels

and private reserves,

the fine talk of the serious

performing their delicate

mysterious craft.

Yet about the art of aging

I found myself indifferent

nothing to say or ask.

We went outside,

walked among the woody vines

and fleshy, often violet,

sometimes green, prodigal,

smooth-skinned grapes.

The day was beautiful.

My friend was happy, sated.

There's never enough, I thought.

There never can be enough.

Found In Volume 25, No. 04
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Stephen Dunn
About the Author

Stephen Dunn is the author of 17 collections of poetry, including Different Hours, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize. His most recent book is Lines of Defense (W.W.Norton, 2013).