One Bottle – Six Glasses.
This row seems more serious – we have decided not to forgive.
I’m down here with the expensive bottle I was saving
for Christmas. You’re upstairs, in bed, restlessly asleep, a frown
in your dreams. I pull the cork and pour myself a full glass,
red as an open heart. Those things we said, we meant – when hurt
we strike out like snarling strangers then crumble into remorse.
It’s commonplace. This time – another glass of wine – we didn’t
make things right, bumped away from each other, bruised, sad,
your eyes rejecting mine like an awkward stranger. A refill. My pain
rearranges itself into rage. I scavenge your selfish bones, pick your
arguments bare. Guilt settles on me like a bad debt. Reach for the
bottle, fill up the glass. There’s a chasm between us, the rift grows wider
by the hour but I am moulded in stone and hard and cold and slow. Your
familiar, gentle face is set for war. More wine. I’m drowning wounds
in wine. It stings like brine. I want you to wake up. I want to want to
wrap my arms around your familiar feel, your smell, your skin. But
I don’t. Here in the dark, alone seems necessary.
The destroyer in me is out, the last glass spilt.
First Published in The Interpreter’s House
Lesley Quayle is a widely published, prizewinning poet, living in deepest, darkest Dorset. She’s also a folk/blues singer and co-organiser of a music club, wife of one, mother of four and grandma of three (and a half.)