Twisting the Cork

My father

once owned

a champagne-colored

corvette

but champagne

should be in a bottle,

not on the bumper.

It should be

in a glass,

a flute,

even a plastic cup,

perhaps some

on the floor,

the result

of an explosion,

POP,

an airborne

cork that could

poke out an eye

or break a light

bulb. But it never

does. Eyes

rather grow wide

and light up

unbroken,

unpoked,

as the cork

sails over the couch

where the cats

chase it down.

There are smiles, too,

at the kitties,

“Aw,”

at the moon,

at each other.

Almost two years

of smiles,

of walks to the Pub

and the subsequent

stumbles home,

of love,

and I can’t even count

how many bottles

of champagne.

With the opened

bottle in hand,

I linger on

the edge of the moment

as I want it

to last

longer.

I want to hold it,

stretch it out

in my arms

and wrap myself in

its champagne-colored

folds, sleep in it

a while. I want to

hit the pause button

and take notes

and pictures

and capture that smile,

your smile,

the sight of you

beautiful in curlers

and red plaid pajamas

as this is prefunking,

nachos and gifts,

hugs and kisses,

and some sweet love

on the sofa

will come later.

We breathe deep

in anticipation

and listen

to the cats

swatting at the cork

unaware of the joy

it has released.

And I want

to say it,

“I love you,”

but you’re about

to speak, you’re

going to beat

me to it,

say it first,

declare your love

for us

for life

for all to come,

and still smiling

you do speak,

“What are you

waiting for?

Fill my glass.”


Dave O’Leary is a writer and musician living in Seattle. He’s had two novels published (The Music Book, Booktrope, 2014 and Horse Bite, Infinitum, 2011) and has had prose and poetry featured in, among others, Slate.com, Versification, Vamp Cat Magazine, and Reflex Fiction.

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