Your beautifully constructed cocktails
became legendary
and you named them well,
a way of slipping poetry
into the bloodstream of the girls

too subtle for the Screaming Orgasm,
Sex on the Beach,
but glad to reach for every chilled
or minted, salted glass
you’d shake up, pour and pass

across the artful books,
with the perfect sweet spot quip
or quote, the measured look,
depending on the lightness of the hour.
The Metamorphosis, Lure of the Sea,

The Rings of Saturn and the Abilene.
Cloud Atlas, The Trieste,
Sweet Beatrice, La Belle Confidente,
the Kandahar. These I recall
and more. Their cherry lips,

how you gauged them, like a Gideon,
on their gulps, or careful sips,
how long it took them not to care
about the glass-stem’s snapping,
spilling syrup on the tablecloth,
about the liquid’s naming, or their own.