Sonnet for Catullus

The wet, still trance of the morning on grass
  Speckles the cool air as last night’s wine lingers.
The empty wine bottle’s unlabeled glass
  Survived my fumbling, ever drunker fingers
That traced Rome’s doom in well-worn, penciled books
  Of poets time almost forgot but wine
Championed like a chessmaster’s rooks
  Reserved to strike at the end by design.
Your words, your love survived blood, accidents,
  And pox rampaging an empire’s debris.
    Though accolades gather dust, I essay
That some future minds may find residence
  For my words, like a bird’s nest in the scree—
    For poetry, the grape, my chardonnay.



Patrick Kanouse is a managing editor for Pearson Education, a technology publisher in Indianapolis. His poems have appeared in such places as Connecticut Review, The Evansville Review, Smartish Pace and Astropoetica, among others. You can read more of his work at