For this one sonnet, I have paid, in foregone

salary, approximately two

hundred and fifty thousand dollars, on

conservative assumptions. They accrue

in my imagination, wealth compounded

on a daily basis—what was called,

in law school, ‘time value of money”— rounded

to the nearest clotted vein or bald,

embattled skull. I wonder who, perceiving

what the future holds, would budge one finger

toward it? Or would even grudge the leaving

of it? If the pay had made me linger

there, I’d never have had cause to rhyme.