Wines and Spirits

I caress their bodies, gold and scarlet,
Dressed only in sticky labels On display, mannequins of amorous nights to come, Glass rattles in high frequencies, in French, Spanish, sounds I cannot know, (The bottles trade secrets of their hoodoo). Full-bodied, full of backhanded wisdom, I am a young girl in their presence, I pay homage to them in my gentle dusting Of their shining necks, their voluptuous torsos and midriffs. I pretend to know their stories, their gestations in barrels. Juice aged, mature, educated in ancient wood, Unlike the small children who slap their hands To their tear-drop bottoms. I cringe at the idea of their heads popping off, A cork scalp scampering across a counter. Oh, the bottles whisper to me, but the jokes on them, For they’ll drink us till our blood curdles their own and down they’ll go!
(I imagine tasting their velvety warm bitter hearts, a subtle afterthought for my tongue). I say now Shush! They’ll hear you! And they gracefully point with Those elegant, fierce burgundy necks like rigid swans.
I wave them good-bye. All I get in return is the wink of their
Glassy necks in the Light florescent.

Sarah Rosenthal is a senior at Bard College in the Hudson Valley studying Written Arts and Gender and Sexuality studies. When not writing, reading or learning about gender, she loves to cook, drink tea, and blog when she can at She can be reached at