by Pierce Nahigyan
Captain Jacky Talleyrand, old salt extraordinaire,
Dubbed the dewdrop bandit thieving air without a care.
Stinky countries conjured you to burgle them some seemly
Atmosphere beseeching thee like a perfumey genie.
Called to aid the Sulphur Port in southern Timbuktu,
Ducats gleaming, em’ralds, fiery sapphires promised you,
Greater still the treasure pledged for plundered whiffs and wafts:
Madame Magnifique to wed, princess of golden laughs.
The town abaft, your wheel in hand, you savored mem’ry’s tongue
Tasting her delicious song in rolling waves unbunged.
Onward rushed, for air unknown, enchanted, ‘witched, maligned,
Spooling thither compass clinched round the aclinic line,
Heedless to your men’s entreats, their shanties waned to dirges,
Winter waxing placid waters past their placid urges.
Neptune’s casks were casket waves that carried off the jacks
Drunk on seasoned storms, their screams the salt of cataracts.
Typhoons found thee foundered fast, thyself alone escaped,
Madame Magnifique’s sweet quest at last a pungent jape.
Squalid rock is now your throne, your subjects vile cetaceans.
Bilious blowholes echo drownéd sailors’ adjurations.
Odors haunt the cities, slimy ghosts turn wine to brine
Sulphur Port however blooms, for on your soul they dine.