I do it again,
peel the gold-foil wrapping
from the neck of another
poem.

I extract the cork,
straight-up, briskly,
neatly.

Out of its element,
the poem first takes
small panting breaths.

I ignore it, pretend to be busy,
a séance with Rimbaud,
perhaps a sonnet of vowels.

It develops nose,
emotes terroir,
softens its tannins.

Does a verse and chorus
of Leonard Cohen’s
Hallelujah.

I swirl it and snort it and sip it and swish it and spit it
out and taste the lingering . . .

Berry, chocolate, tobacco, and leather,
hints of pollen and honey,
grand cru.

This sort is rarely a standalone varietal,
usually, rather, the base for a blend.

I lick every drop I see running,
with expert plucks of my tongue.

I sense the bottle is bottomless,
sugary, vintage, a great year for sure.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013