Feeling unwell Verlaine was advised
To find somewhere the winter sun.
One of his five unborn brothers –
Scholars disagree which one it was --
Agreed to take his place for a while
Springing from the bottle their mother
Had put him in after her miscarriage.
Over five frenzied weeks he wrote
Thirty three poems and a masque.
When Verlaine returned his brother
Apologized for having shot Rimbaud
Verlaine shrugged and the two
Drank absinthe and drew lots
As to which would go to jail.