Total Beverage Food and Liquor

Chrissy Kolaya

We must think we're looking good, you and I,
the way we walk in
and stride right over to the gin.
And the clerks
they're hanging around
asking can they help,
but we wander off in search of tonic.
"Got limes?" we ask,
and this one says:
"Looks like you needed help
after all."  The shelves go on for blocks and blocks,
the bottles glimmering in florescent light
and this one -- tall redhead
and not even handsome really,
till he opens his mouth -- this one
has a Scottish accent.  I look at you
and we're thinking the same thing
as usual.
He says:  "follow me"
and we'd follow him
clear to dry vermouth and back.
We trail behind,
through cognacs and fine scotch,
round the corner at mid-range wines
and he says
he's studying to be a hairdresser.
"I gave a 93 year-old woman a perm today,"
purring over this perm and I say:
"Oh, you're pulling our leg."
Our leg,
as though it's a collective body we have,
one leg between the two of us.  "What?
Would I say that to impress you?"  he laughs,
tossing a lime at each of us
and disappearing behind the imported beer steins.
We take one look at each other, you and I,
rest our heads against the glass door,
behind which they keep beer cold for fools like us.
"Huhhh," we say, exhaling slowly,
our single common breath
fogging the cooler door
like a car window.