Crown; In Which I Compare Cocktail Recipes To Divine Intersection
In Eureka Springs we drink martinis
on a balcony above the Christmas
parade, a Samson-haired father recites
James Bond’s stolen recipe, three ounces
gin, one ounce vodka, one-half ounce lillet,
bone-chilled and bitter, like vermouth, but more
lemon. He was born here, raised two daughters,
watched one dissolve, radiation and red
tape too poisonous for freshly-hatched bone
marrow, stroked her ear lobes as she declined
the hushed promises of breathing machines
and followed the orange roar of star-shine.
Stir the liquid, he says, let the peel rise,
if you shake it, the juniper will bruise.
If you shake it, the juniper will bruise,
like the near dead heart bombarded with jolts
of electrical current, the promise
of quieter days, he donated cells
from every breathing organ, cut his tongue
at the roots so she could taste the way gin,
when stirred, will infuse the bloodstream with flight,
an antidote for cold metallic cures.
We discuss tornadoes in December,
how he witnessed a small apocalypse
in the delta of Mississippi, gold
light exploding above the rice paddies.
Ready to harvest, he walked through old pines
to shoot a young doe, left the fawn behind.
Please, God, take me and leave the fawn behind
do not tempt her weak body with the roar
of star shine, unearthly trails of monarch
butterflies, painless and pure, the storm clouds
translate her short life into a vision
of mitochondrial dance, explosions
of devils and saints, lead me to the spot
where Robert Johnson sold his soul, blues
music traded for the tasteless, unknown
weight, unfold the map and show me her name
in the book of names, the path to follow.
Stir the gin, let the dying song rise in
Eureka Springs, as we drink martinis.
Beth Gordon received her MFA a long time ago and was not heard from again until 2017 when her poems began to appear in numerous journals Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize; and her chapbook, Particularly Dangerous Situation, is forthcoming from Clare Songbird Publishing House in 2019. She is also poetry editor of Gone Lawn.