In my late twenties,
I got my first taste of love.
I had the best seats in the house,
as a bartender in Paris.
Writers, artists, and musicians,
frequented the joint.
But it was the Fitzgeralds that truly stole the show.
I did not know them well, but I came to recognize
love through the bottom ups of their flutes.
They were regulars, but each night they came
they were different.
Some nights he carried her like mother’s fine china,
Other nights she seemed to carry herself.
Always dolled up and draped with freshwater pearls
and fur that swaddled her shoulders.
He was always careful,
in making sure she would not break.
But I spotted the cracks in her powdered porcelain skin,
and witnessed on countless nights how she failed
to realize that jealousy did not mix well,
with the bourbon she cradled in her hands.
Soon I became a connoisseur of love,
though the first shot tingled and tickled my nose,
it warmed my body and welcomed me home.
I noticed the tiny tears in his sleeves
where he always wore his heart
and the exhaustion he carried in the
bags of his eyes.
The smoky and spicy notes
became less subtle with time
while their love mingled in the air
and expanded in scope.
My heart was capered in view
of their muddled engagement,
Leaving me without a moment to chase.
But despite the clanky swing her mood played
throughout the bar, he was a lovesick puppy dog
that refused to let his heart heel.
And whether they came in plain or with their love affair
on the rocks,
she seem to show that without him,
she was not whole.
They were of equal parts.
I learned about love without a measure
of proof before it got watered down.
I cherish my first taste of love
before it went out of style.