Merlot makes her sad, always has.
When the wet season starts, she pours early,
drinks deep into afternoon. Gone
are doubt-free days of communion,
salvation in a single sip. The sky, now
a punched eye, swells. Steeples vanish.
At night in a stranger’s bed, his chest
a bare wall she can beat, sex an excuse
to scream. More intimate: the cigarette
shared after, the ripped condom wrap, its familiar
grin. With a fingertip he dabs
sweat beads on her back, says, “Stay.”
She turns her head, watches droplets
slide down windowpanes—her faith
fleeting as a breath-mark. He sleeps.
She showers. Daydreams of deserts, unseen
saviors, water to wine. The last bottle drained,
she leaves thirsty. Sediment
at the back of her throat.