When your heart fermented into wine

Did you finally find /your heart— /so vivid and crisp /when last we saw it? /Is it a red wine now, /found at room temperature /in your creaking cellar /where you store the things /you’re afraid to face at night? /Or is it a white wine, /chilled like ice, /cold-blooded now, /no longer a foggy bottle collecting /my dusty tears /and your musty sighs? /Did the leaves that you glued on as patches /ever fall off /to expose free blood flow? /Were the sharp colors /the first to go? /Did it shrink into itself, /like a sun-tanning raisin, /or my tightly pursed lips? /Or did it swell /from all you never let it feel, /and all I tried to fill it with? /Can you tell one part, one love, /from another, anymore? /Has it all become one blurry lump? /Do you remember where this thing goes? /I’ll ask you these /the next time someone looks at you /and says they want to see your sky. /Did you say it back? /And knowing you, /you’ll dip your head /back beneath the waves /rather than meet my gaze /over your glass of wine. /Room temperature or chilled? I ask. /You don’t know. /Because that’s just a Shirley Temple /you’re drinking there, /no hint of alcohol /to impair /your already tangled thoughts. /You’ll repeat all my questions but one /to yourself, /in the night, /knowing well each answer, /as you begin to dream of a world /where you know the difference /between a white wine and a red— /where you have ever tasted /one or the other. /And as the nighttime deafens you, /with no more questions /from you or from me, /and no more half-hearted /I don’t knows, /you know the answer /to the question you left out, /too— /it’s wailing from the silence /in your chest.

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