Little Fucker Nance

The tourists have eaten the last snail
and must now see the wondrous cannon.
Please hurry! The bus spews blue fumes.

Quick into the tunnel and out with
the sad-faced money. I could say the name
of the country. I could be precise,
yank up the slack and say where I am
among them. Here, where the half-moon
appears to blow smoke rings
over the chapel’s crumbling steeple.

I’m in my raised-eye mind
as the crowd stares up—up
the 838 stone steps I took to get here,
though I turn now and wave.

Oh, is that not polite?

More steps to the belfry, I’m repeating to myself
the curse against myself, and I’m coming
to like it: the breath-fog of it. Hardly
any black medieval rage. I like
its ascent. I like its
rippling alpward.