Drug Company Dinner

May 1, 2005

Drug Company Dinner

Psychiatric Times

May 2005

Vol. XXII

Issue 6

I dressed in a suit and cashmere coat,

a young man parked my car.

Red-dressed starlets flashed cleavage

and offered me black Beluga caviar

on buckwheat blinis. They sat me at a table

laid out with silver on white linen cloth,

each setting trimmed with an orchid

in a royal blue vase. And I might have heard

someone speak about doses and side effects

before the waiters served sea urchin eggs

arranged on white porcelain shells, circled

with fresh basil and warm tomato puree.

They carried two pound lobsters, rack of lamb,

poured wine into a glass that never emptied,

arranged an oak leaf and beet salad

into a still-life painting, fetched a cheese course

from the farms of France, and finished with chocolate

souffl, frozen glasses of grappa, and a tray

topped with towers of Belgian truffles.

And a starlet held open my cashmere coat,

the young man returned my warmed-up car,

and I walked outside and breathed the Berkshires

in March, the smells of melted snow and sap

flowing in the pines, and I drove the slick surface

that twists and turns up Lenox Mountain, wondering,

really wondering, how much this night had cost me.

Dr. Berlin is associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Berlin's book How JFK Killed My Father won the 2002 Pearl Poetry Prize and is now in its 2nd printing, published by Pearl Editions.