Four houses, six cars, three wives, and two kids later, 
he despaired: pension, stocks, and bonds, all well balanced, 
except for him. So he went to France to despair in style. 

Over dinner, his escort asked him how much he was worth. 
A lot, he said, maybe more, then went to his room alone, 
where he flicked the light, locked the door, thought, not much, 

maybe less, and poured himself too many drinks. 
Hours passed, the dark grew vast, sweeping Paris in its drift 
as he sank to sleep listening to the late-night rain

that rattled on the mansard roofs and slicked the cobbled 
Place Vendôme, the runoff sluicing though the gutters,
down the storied sewers, into the streetlight-silvered Seine, 

through his lot of nights to follow, into the North Atlantic 
beneath the Borealis and a wealth of worthless stars.