Z is the Zenith from which we decline,

While Y is your Yelp as you're twisting your spine.

X is for Xmas; the alternative

Is an X-ray that gives you just one year to live.

So three cheers for Santa, and onward to W.

W's Worry, but don't let it trouble you:

W easily might have been Worse.

V, unavoidably, has to be Verse.

U is Uncertainty. T is a Trial

At which every objection is met with denial.

S is a Sentence of "Guilty as Charged."

R is a Russian whose nose is enlarged

By inveterate drinking, while Q is the Quiet

That falls on a neighborhood after a riot.

P is a Pauper with nary a hope

Of lining his pockets or learning to cope.

O is an Organ transplanted in vain,

While N is the Number of "Enemies Slain":

Three thousand three hundred and seventy-three.

If no one else wants it, could M be for Me?

No, M is reserved for a mad Millionaire,

And L is his Likewise, and goes to his heir.

K is a Kick in the seat of your pants,

And J is the Jury whose gross ignorance

Guaranteed the debacle referred to above.

I's the Inevitability of

Continued inflation and runaway crime,

So draw out your savings and have a good time.

H is your Heart at the moment it breaks,

And G is the Guile it initially takes

To pretend to believe that it someday will heal.

F is the strange Fascination we feel

For whatever's Evil–Yes, Evil is E–

And D is our Dread at the sight of a C,

Which is Corpse, as you've surely foreseen. B is bone.

A could be anything. A is unknown.

Tom Disch, *Yes, Let's: New & Selected Poems*, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.