Reprinted from Eyedrum Periodically, July 2013
I am at Manuel’s –
there are plank tables so it must be Manuel’s –
and Stan is here –
we are bundled in knit caps and scarves and mittens –
our breath mingles white in the dank, beery air,
and all I can talk of is Coca-cola –
that thick blue glass,
that luscious frozen sweat
melting in rivulets when it meets fingertips.
I revolve my tongue on it,
hum to it, tickle it with specifics,
shake it up and lick the fizz as it bubbles over the lip.
He says, “You know these bottles may not be enough.”
His arms are laden with them. They look like lilies.
Okay, do something about it: beat back death.
Scrape of wool plaid and the scent of winter,
deckle caps, shock of brown cold, cascade of sweetness –
trembling in the throat, swelling heartbeat, spreading flush,
flecks of ice.