I think I detect cracked leather.
I’m pretty sure I smell the cherries
from a Shirley Temple my father bought me
in 1959, in a bar in Orlando, Florida,
and the chlorine from my mother’s bathing cap.
And last winter’s kisses, like salt on black ice,
like the moon slung away from the earth.
When Li Po drank wine, the moon dove
in the river, and he staggered after.
Probably he tasted laughter.
When my friend Susan drinks
she cries because she’s Irish
and childless. I’d like to taste,
one more time, the rain that arrived
one afternoon and fell just short
of where I stood, so I leaned my face in,
alive in both worlds at once,
knowing it would end and not caring.
Copyright © 2013 by Kim Addonizio. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on September 3, 2013.
About this Poem
"A friend and I were tasting Italian wines with an instructional DVD, trying to discern the usual—blackberries, tobacco, etc.—which led to some outrageous comparisons, and eventually to the more serious ones in the poem. I wanted to talk about a famous drinker, too, and eighty-sixed Hemingway in favor of Li Po, who showed me the moon."
Kim Addonizio's poetry collections include Lucifer at the Starlite (W. W. Norton, 2009); What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems (W. W. Norton, 2004); and Tell Me (BOA Editions, 2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Date Published: 2013-09-03
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/wine-tasting