vino dei fratelli: moscato d’asti

i.

i drank wine with my mother today.
we danced around this apartment we don’t own
and my bare feet tapped misshapen prints into the white carpet
as i swirled in a dress i picked myself to please us both.
and i watched myself in exactly seventeen years,
three months and nineteen days, heavy-lidded from far more than sleep–
i thought: this is me, and this is my mother.

ii.
i drank wine,
and its sweet slight burn traveled slow across the expanse of my tongue
toward a throat still choked with every syllable i never uttered in your ear.
it was delicious,

iii.
but not enough to burn the flavor of your kiss from my mouth.

iv.
i drank wine with my mother today.
that should mean that i am sophisticated and classy and quite mature enough to handle what we were,
but didn’t anyone tell you?
the greatest pleasures of alcohol reside in its being forbidden to us children.
i am an infant with wine in my bottle.
you saw straight through the plastic to my suckling mouth and all the neophyte words traipsing on tiptoe from taste bud to wakened taste bud, tapdancing cleverly between my teeth.

she is more of an adult than i will ever be,
and i was the last one to realize it.

v.
all the world’s running a race,
a marathon–
and everyone is passing me up.

i said that once.

vi.

it’s still the truth.

vii.
the slow warmth of muscato travels beneath my skin like an errant blush;
i am an adolescent in your shadow tripping on the looks you throw at me over your shoulder. the ice melting from it is causing me to slip.

viii.

i drank wine with my mother today,
in a red, white and blue plaid spaghetti strap dress that crosses over my breasts– but doesn’t cover them enough to hide the fact that my breath still accelerates at the sound of your name.
i would have been afraid she could see what i was holding between them,
but her glass was empty before mine and her smile had grown sublime.

ix.
i wonder what muscato tastes like on skin,
but the only person left to find out now is her, and she doesn’t drink.

x.

come to think of it, neither do you.

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