POEM: Snakes, clover, and beer

“I’ll take those snakes please,
if you’re finished with them,”
said Dionysus, “and
the little green plant with
the three-lobed leaf that
is everywhere abundant,
food of cattle, source of milk.
If you won’t drink wine,
I’ll press your vines
and make gallons of the stuff,
stain your black beer
with the green of the earth
and spill it on the streets
of asphalt. Call it Mardi Gras
when women bear their breasts
for beads and men cavort
in women’s costumes, if
it makes you feel better,
call it St. Patrick’s day
when the drinking won’t stop
weeks later, call it sin
when the thirst for life,
for joy, is never quenched,
but it is I, Dionysus and
Bacchus and Liber, to whom
those thirsty drunks call.”

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