Fire and Ice

24 Jul

Wall of Wine    Rose'

I’ve been thinking a lot on ice these days. Not so much because of how incredibly hot the weather has been, nor how much I seem to live in sweat most of the time, but small glimpses of it in moments. Since May, fire seems to have been a primary internal element. Something in me grew a flame that I didn’t fully understand until recently. And all cliche’s aside, the phoenix rises eventually. Maybe that’s what’s been happening.

The flame is changing now though, slowly and subtly shifting into a steady burn. The heat becoming almost constant, normalized and the leaps and bursts are fewer between. So I find myself thinking more on ice, on welcoming it rather than fearing it. Of wanting that sharp cold edge to hone the flame, keep it in check.

In traveling, especially having dinner up at the bar, I luxuriate in glimpses of ice among flame, and the sparkles of light that light up a night time wonder world.

So, I pull out my fist full of cocktail napkins, notes on moments spent in the experience of a place and a time and I reel backward to a Wednesday night, alone in Richmond at the Can Can Brasserie when the crystals began to take shape. I love that place, out of Paris in the 1920’s. The music floats in soft language around the room and through the summer flowers in epergene and flags in subtle sway from the ceiling fans.

I watched the bartender make a martini. I had never seen one being made…a sharp angled glass heaped with crystal cubes and then opaque white and yellowed liquid, all sliding into a cold silver shaker…

That sound… clickaswish… clickaswish…. clickaswish and then pouring through metal spiral teeth back into the glass, two moss green globes speared…lying in repose along an angled glass edge…

I wondered what it tasted like while the first of many oysters flooded my mouth with cold ocean.

Frost and Flame

Seated in this middle air

away from the warm

and deep evening life on the street,

an old tin ceiling forms and presses,

bends itself into a wall of wine.

Lines of glass bottles lit in tiny pinpoint

like so many buoys along a shoreline,

reflect in rosy pink roast beet cherry edged

cold

in my glass,

and across the silver tin top of the bar,

soft glows over a grey glass sea.

Cool white starched linen lies

supine on my lap,

sliding up my bare knee

as I inch forward to see the garcon’s delivery.

Light catches in ice nestling oyster shells,

bare raw souls ready,

trembling ever so slightly,

to surrender in frost and flame.

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