doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000000033
Education: Mind to Mind

Breakup Wine

Tyler, Patrick D. B.A.

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After you left, I kept the cork in and
the napkin nearby to catch the drips…
The air inside the bottle, it’s still there,
the label telling of
tobacco for the smoke on gameday,
saddle leather for your boots I loved,
blueberries and cherries for the gelato we made.
In a few months, maybe we’ll open it,
pour glasses, swirl and aerate it, discover
that it’s not too dry for you, or too sweet for me,
that what we bottled needed to age,
that it could be tasted at vineyards and downed with abandon
at bacchanals,
or taken in flights,
or uncorked on a weeknight after Herculean labors.
Or maybe there will just be vinegar.
Either way, I can’t yet upturn
everything, can’t watch the last little
purple rivulets stream down and fade to stainless steel.
So the bottle is still on the shelf -
cork in and napkin nearby,
the label hinting at
a limited vintage,
fermenting and fecund,
waiting to be poured.

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