To an Unlabeled Bottle of Viognier

You boast an American vintage of 2001,
packed with Colorado minerals and busting with Rocky Mountain sunshine.
Young and bold in your assertions of florals and flint,
you remind me of a duded-up cowboy
high on horse sweat and liquor and the perfume
of globe-breasted Gunnison gals with bright blonde hair
and come-hither hips poured into denim.
Oh, I taste your wry masculinity reminiscent of whiskers
that scratched my young neck under a full-to-bursting moon.
Your boisterous fruit fills my nose, your bawdy, bulging grapiness
so up in my face you cry out for grilled mahi mahi
slathered in dill mayonnaise, crowned with rings of red onion
on a crusty Kaiser roll. You see? You want to boast your American-ness
but you court cultures of Polynesia and the very Teutons who overlorded your ancestors,
and you forget who I am. I knew your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great
grandfather, made love to him on the banks of the Rhone,
fed him only Brie and baguette, the occasional pear and blackberries picked
by the side of that dusty road outside Condrieu,
and I wonder what he would think of you today, so yippee-ai-ay in your glass saddle.
To test you, I eat one fat, twisted lariat of a Chee-toh, the biggest hammer I can find
in my pantry today
and you, you insolent brat, you

Well done, my friend, well done.
Your forebears would be proud.


This poem appeared in Mad Blood, Issue #2

Hear the audio version of this poem.

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