David Yezzi


The Faculty Abroad

The term is done, the grades are in,
the pensions booked—ten nights, nine days.
The touring faculty begin
their transatlantic getaways
to Paris or swank ateliers
in Venice or in Amsterdam.
So you, too, can enjoy their stays,
they post the proof on Instagram.

Beneath the Mona Lisa’s chin,
one shyly grins, while others gaze
at selfies by Rembrandt van Rijn.
Mein Gott, the food: torched crème brûlées,
a sautéed quail in demi-glaze,
Zuppa Inglese, Black Forest ham.
It’s true, they know the best cafés.
They post the proof on Instagram.

#Europe, ftw!
They’ve gone to slough off their malaise,
disguising they’re Amerikin
by slyly looking up the phrase
for “May I have some mayonnaise?”
The Old World sets the bar for glam:
they love to try out their bidets.
They post the proof on Instagram.

Lest we should miss their new berets
and so the stay-at-home mesdames
et messieurs can shower them with praise,
they post the proof on Instagram.


Vowel Shift

The vowels in love just won’t do;
the sounds they both make are askew:
The O is too violent,
the E is just silent.
What’s missing, my dearest, is U.

David Yezzi‘s latest book of poems is Birds of the Air.