The ink had dried, cursive letters swirled
over parchment–– frosting decorating a cake
without candles. He rolled the paper, a telescope,
aimed it at the sea, and then sealed it with red wax
that she had bought him in Florence. He smelled
the crema on the espresso and her Versace perfume,
always that perfume! Notes of citrus and jasmine
over sandalwood. He sniffed the paper.
It was still there, embedded in the fibers.
He took the empty bottle of Brunello and stuffed
the roll inside. Plunk, it hit the bottom, the green glass
thick and cold. He held the stained cork, squeezed,
turned and used both hands to push it down.
He picked up the bottle, placed it in the wine rack,
replacing the Medoc. He uncorked the red,
poured it into a balloon-shaped glass, and swirled it.
© 2011 Kim King