The Whiskey Rule

​Half full

The whiskey rule

Glass positioned just so on the window sill

The room is still

(save for the rise of her chest)

The room is quiet

(save for the enter and exit of breath in her breast)

And the very hint of a sunrise crests, stretches

Stitches along the horizon line

A divine sign fine reflecting in its own time

Through the drops on the pane I’m staring through

The gray skies hanging low

The slow cars going to God knows where

Soft splashes are

Soft whiplashes and this is a small moment

That will never last

Is slipping past and

She breathes soft

Sleeps soft

Will soon slink softly through the door into the

Overcast afternoon of the day that settles

Last night into a Fond Memory Tomb
Fear not

Frown not

I’m left with a glass half full
After all

That’s the whiskey rule

First Sight

I want to meet her while standing at a railing, the two of us looking out over a dark blue river, likely abroad, likely one of those old countries where half the roads are still cobbled and every building has stories to tell. We would stand there in silence for a while, me mustering up the strength to say something, her waiting for me to get there, and finally I would say, “Beautiful.” She’d say, “It really is,” but we’d both know I was talking about her.

I want to meet her in a tavern. Not a bar, but one of those worn-in places where folks nip in for a lunchtime pint and you can people watch through window panes stained with age. We would catch eyes from opposite sides of the counter. I would raise my drink in a toast. She would lift hers in return and accompany it with an assured smirk and a small wink. I’d finish my beer and order a fresh one, then walk around, through a room occupied with a handful of regulars but otherwise empty, and we’d talk. For hours. The topics would range from the personal to the inane and the sky outside would slowly darken until the street lights glowed from outside and the evening crowd filtered through the door and we smiled at each other over the lips of our glasses.

I want to meet her in a bookstore. It’s a small affair, privately owned. The shelves are stacked tight with used novels, dog-eared and broken-spined. The pages are yellowed with age and worn with love until a day came when there was no longer room in their home or in their hearts and the paperbacks are given up for adoption. I would walk by her and she’d whirl around and ask my opinion between two books. I’ll have not read either, so we’ll read the backs together and work out a list of pros and cons until a decision is eventually made. “If it sucks, I’ll kick your ass,” she says.  “Take my number so you’ll be able to find me,” I agree.

Or maybe I’ll meet her at a group dinner. It wasn’t supposed to be a double date. Just a group of friends agreeing to meet for a meal and a few of us hadn’t met before, but she and I suddenly hit it off and start having our own conversation off to the side, the rest of the group be damned.

Or maybe we’ll meet on a plane, seated next to each other by chance and conversing because of boredom, and the seeds are sown for what starts as a long distance relationship and possibly blossoms into more.

Or perhaps we won’t meet.

Or perhaps she’s someone I meet again, someone who has been or is in my life. A circumstance changes or a reunion is had, a random meeting in a grocery store that turns into a lunch to catch up.  Maybe I know her already.

Maybe I don’t.

My hope is I’ll meet her, our eyes meet, and I feel that connection again. The kind of current that runs both ways. That kind of tension that raises the hairs on the arm. That flicker downwards as we look at each other’s lips, wondering what that first kiss will be like, taste like. The kind of rapport that leads to a whole lot of nothing that feels like everything and simultaneously lasts a heartbeat and forever.

If she’s out there, I’d like to meet her. It doesn’t really matter how, I suppose.

She, of the Pale Stars

This first line was something I had wanted to write around, so after keeping it in my back pocket for a while, I churned this piece out this morning. I could have done better, probably, but I’m not feeling so hot physically or mentally, so anything will do:

She was a glass of wine dressed in sunset
The kind of eyes it took
A cold shower to wake from and
A drink to forget
The shadows fell long from her
Winding, twisting
Insisting every secret I had be traded
For a whiff of her incense hair
For a glimpse of the smokey way she moved
She was autumn colors, but I took the fall
The dream ended in ripples across the pond and
She left me dead in my sleep

My friend, Halia Janssen, took the same line and wrote this superior piece, which I will share to make up for my own half-assing it:

She was a glass of wine dressed in sunset,
A silhouette bathed in light of the crescent moon.
She was the echo in my turbulent midnight dreams
Wandering the pangs of our reverie
Hiding in shadow, intangible to say the least
She is my heart, my laughter
Forever out of reach.