Pink Tablecloth

Fermented cereal grains infused with herbs and flowers,

aromatized wine, and cognac aged in French oak barrels.

No matter how classy they might look in a wine glass

nor how expensive they can satisfy my tongue,  

they will never pass through me, I told my comrades

one night during our out-of-town dinner.

 

Whenever the scents of alcohol cover my lungs,

a child I know comes back to me,

clutching the hem of my garment;

carrying the agitation of seeing bottles of St. Michael’s

resting upon their home’s checkered tablecloth.

 

I remember her eyes thirsting for a succor,

for she knows what’s waiting after the cases were emptied—

the men summoned by the spirit of the flavors they sipped

will be full of mischief and vice.

They will throw their words,

throw their hands on the air, not minding where

it would land;

on the bedsheet, under her skirt, on her chest.

 

And in the silence of night will be the scream of a thousand fox

unable to move, unable to escape from her shivering fists.

 

The sun will rise tomorrow, they would say,

and it surely did the next day.

She got up from the bed, caressing the pleats of her skirt,

her eyes fixed on the pink checkered tablecloth

now decorated with candies and gummy bears.

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