Violence thrives like violet on the vine, but I’m rare
today, with you. I came to Napa nappy-headed,
impressively unconcerned, with heft to me. Air
kisses the wine we bring to lip: I’m not wedded
to folks, I say, the way I was. Parts of me have died
with more to expire; troubled times have changed
us both. Left to silence, a question rises—if you lied
to spare me wrath turned inward. You’ve arranged
any moment of peace I’ve ever lived in: Love, it’s hard
to trust a good thing these days, harder still to be one.
Crimson colors in our stemmed glasses. Sorry-ass bard,
feeling no ounce of romance toward the world. No gun
could woo me, though. I want to be here. Need to be—
me, the half-full fool of us. I can’t imagine what you see.
Copyright © 2023 by Cortney Lamar Charleston. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 2, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.