Seclusion smells of grapes suffused with loss.
Its sweetened undertones seduce post-sunset.
Alone’s an acquired taste, like strong cigars.
She’s Pinot Noir once fruited, sugared in August
with hints of currant and cherry or raspberry.
Her sweet appeal first dances on the tongue
like Maduro smoke, swirled with brandy, refined,
but left to dry, ferment, until
acerbic, soured. Bitter wine is she,
Alone, to drink; and lord, is she a hard
damn mistress. Slips inside a paper bed
and slides herself betwixt your loins and licks
of cold. She sings of barriers from winter winds.
She lies, you know. Alone’s a whore who sleeps
with those naïve enough to call her name.
We feel her wet, cold breath, the bitter tongue
of her. She’s sexing us, keeping memories near
and friends at bay; attention hound is she.
She likes her drink, Alone, and so do I.
And in the winter winds, she needn’t share.
Was back in ’69, when first we met
outside a shabby bar near New Orleans,
my breath then fouled by a three-day binge
with Old Grand-Dad and good friends Jack and Jim.
Alone, she bid me sleep and concrete benches
sang their accommodations. Lay your head
to rest, she said; it fell, so gently on
her soft, left breast. Alone, she called herself
and stroked my dirty hair. Her sister, winter
winds, she would tuck me in with her, and love
we made that night – Alone, and me. She pledged
her faithfulness, to have (not hold) ’til death
would find her dancing on my grave down home.