Scotch

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You summon me liked a king
You’ve preyed on my instinct
And played with my tongue
I’m amazed at how your spirit
Perforates the air sacs and clouds
My judgment. You let my lips
Kneel down to you and honor the foretaste of burn
And your flammable body slips
Past me, leaving an after-presence
Of smoldering taste buds
As I let you take me to Catherine

She a girl, I once knew.
I with my rugged hull and tall masts
And Catherine smiling like she wants to take me to paradise.
And I steer through Katherine in my dreams
Through the tempest that ravages me
And the gyres that ambush me.
And I climbing the mast to light
A lantern – a memory. And
We pass the furor of her stormy lips
And the undulating waves, her hips, in heaven-caress
As the sextant breaks and the compass
Dances like a ballerina on one foot.

I take another sip,
And I see two players playing pool
And soon I see the painted billiard balls
As planets in all their glory
And a woman inhabiting each one.
Katherine with rings of Jupiter
And 8 others painting glorious horizons
I could not orbit. And I’m now plunging
Down, a spiral staircase to where
I’m now alone in a room looking
Up at the stairs. Alone like a hermit
In the jungle or a distant island in the sun
And still I have you beside, my perfect ally,
The dry taste of a highland king.

I sip the last drop. My night is over
And suddenly Jupiter looks smaller than before.
And yet the moon looks bigger outside.
As if God was telling me to let go.
I was the drunk man caught in the aftershocks
Of a broken relationship. “I can climb the staircase”
I say to myself, one step at a time. A glass emptied of royal blood
Stares at me, and winks. What else but a trail
Of empty glasses for a heartbroken man
And what else but some smooth Scotch
To take the sailor back to his port.

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Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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