Thursday, August 4, 2011

White Vinegar

Your handsome brain
believes her power
is hand-fasted to myth.

But I have seen
her clear spirit
slip through an urn
and spill into a flask

cleaning oil
and soiled grains
of coffee,

lending incentive
to the slow pulse,
the stale scent.

I have let her preserve
the taste of herring
sealed with sliced onion
and apple in a salad jar,

maybe even heard
the gold finch
and oriole sing
high soprano

because some god
distilled her essence
through the air --

like two thousand
years before
when Pompeians
painted those birds
on their villa wall.

And now as you sleep
in a southern hotel,
I sip vodka
lemonade on ice, mingled
with sprigs of mint.

The martini glass
leaves a water stain
on our table --

I will need
her persistence
to reclaim its wood

and rub off the loneliness
until you return.
The front gate is unlatched.

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