After Dinner





It’s tight at our table,

unknown parts of the same group,

face to face and she wants

to teach me to drink Cognac.


The waiter brings snifters and a bottle,

she mulls it over hot tea –

sets the pear-shaped bottom on its side

pours like ‘time has stopped’ slowly

the amber liquid into the heated glass.

Small deft hands stroke the aged decanter

as warm zephyrs intoxicate

the narrowing space between us.


“Sip and swirl, don’t swallow,

let it slide down your tongue,

ease into your throat.

You have to get past the alcohol

and taste the fruit.

Great tasters can tell the grape,

the region, the exact plot of ground.”


My ground is sinking around me,

my face and limbs like embers

as the slick silk glides

as she has instructed,

…. and then she does hers….

the French would be proud.


She circles the rim of the glass,

discovers a drop of the nectar,

with the slightest of smiles

and mink eyes stuck to mine,

puts her finger to my lips

and asks me again to taste the fruit.








  1. Several decades ago, at least five, there was a comic strip named “Moon Mullins”. In one Sunday comic, the proper gentleman who owned the boardinghouse where moon lived had taken him out to dinner. The sommelier brought the wine and as he poured was exhorting Moon to “Inhale the bouquet, savor the delicate roundness.” Moon drained his glass in a single swift motion then held it out for a refill with the comment “Bouquet’s fine Mac. Hit me again and I’ll check out that delicate roundness.”

    I fear I would be closer to that end of the spectrum than to the ideal, if I drank alcohol at all. Nice piece, well written.


  2. Hi Craig

    Beautifully constructed and seductive with your skillful use of detail, sound and sequence. You allow the reader to really feel the sense of anticipation, allure and flirtation. I really enjoyed this one. Thank you so much for sharing.

    My Best


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