Wallace Stevens
The Emperor of Ice-Cream (1922)

 

Call the roller of big cigars,

 

The muscular one, and bid him whip

 

In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.

 

Let the wenches dawdle in such dress

5

As they are used to wear, and let the boys

 

Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.

 

Let be be finale of seem.

 

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

 

 

 

Take from the dresser of deal,

10

Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet

 

On which she embroidered fantails once

 

And spread it so as to cover her face.

 

If her horny feet protrude, they come

 

To show how cold she is, and dumb.

15

Let the lamp affix its beam.

 

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.