Tuesday, March 8, 2011

earth and vine.

The wine bar has purple walls
painted in red grapes and ripe roses
there are vine green accent walls
and the owner looks like Lucinda Williams
her cowboy boot steps syncopate on the hardwood floor
and she's playing Ryan Adams and quietly whispering the words

it's my last day here
a family is eating lunch and savoring a bottle of syrah
they talk to the owner like a neighbor
(which
she probably is)

she offers me a glass of water
and a small pour of wine
“no thank you,” I say.

But she pours them both anyway
and the red swirls an inch high above the stem
the wine is dark and sacramental
and it smells like rain-soaked sandalwood
the water washes it all away,
leaving a clean tongue and licked lips

the breeze comes through the open glass door as the family leaves
and now
it's just us.

She asks me where I'm from
and begins to pour me another glass
“no thank you,” I say.

But she pours it anyway
and a small one for herself
and she drips her elbows to the edge of the bar

“Utah,” I say.
“Not a lot of wine bars out there, are there?”
“No.” I sip the water and eye the wine

“You should have some more,” she says.
“Are you trying to get me drunk?”
“No,” she says
“You just look like you need some color in your cheeks.”

She's right, too
my face is chardonnay white and my eyes filled with cabernet blood
“A sip will keep you warm.”
She hands me a different glass filled with a different varietal
This one smells like campfire smoke and burnt newspaper
She smiles and keeps humming along
and seems to know all the words to all the songs

she catches me humming along, red-handed and red-lipped

“I saw him a few years ago,” she says. “Ryan Adams, I mean.”
“How was he?”
“Angry. He's always so mad about something.”
“What do you think he's mad about?”
She shrugs. “I don't know.
But he doesn't seem to appreciate his audience.”

with that
my mind flashes back to you
and I wonder what book you're reading
whether you'll look like this woman
when you get to your late thirties
or if you'll look more like your mother.

“We've go to be grateful for what we have,” she says.
“What is there besides gratitude?”
“Wine,” I say.
She laughs like a cartoon character
and her blonde bangs dangle like feathers in front of soft eyes
“What's the difference?” she says.

1 comment:

Meg said...

love love love...so much.