Decade of Origin

I’m no longer
a Manhattan with rye,
the suit with one sugar cube, or
the skirt

garnished with a cherry. I’m no longer
eligible to mix
it up on the East Coast. But
visits taken black

filled to the brim
still carry me home.

No Sleep till Brooklyn

What a privilege to be
in a booth by herself. What a message 

to send in a bottle
filled with air. What a color 

to believe in
when the photo turns 

out dark. What eyes
to feel upon her. What a shock 

to see boxers on a large screen
TV behind the bar. What 

a relief not to be teetering
on the edge 

of a wooden floor. What a sound
her heart makes 

when she recognizes how long
it’s been since she needed 

to identify the name of a cocktail—ingredients
weighing her down 

cellar steps to irrelevance.


All this talk of the source, the head,
of three ecosystems—not 

to mention bog. I’m here to ask
what about
the middle where we’ll find you 

stirring our liquid footprints
with yours to concoct 

a cocktail to be drunk
by those waiting at the mouth
to be served.