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tequilaselection from:
In Which Christina Imagines
That Different Types Of Alcohol Are Men
And She Is Seeing Them All

 

AT THE HURRICANE NAME RETIREMENT CENTER

For Atlantic hurricanes, there is a change if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for obvious reasons of sensitivity. If that occurs, then at an annual meeting … the offending name is stricken from the list and another name is selected to replace it.

National Hurricane Center

On the breezeway, under the striped awning, Andrew rocks. Driftwood splinters are tangled in his gray beard. Next to him, Camille lists, her cataracts dark as wet slate. The palms rustle—green shivers. Inside, beyond the screens, sit the Class of ’95, huddled over bridge: Luis, Marilyn, Roxanne, Opal. Luis wears a hat. Opal flicks grains of soft white sand from the shell of her ear. She examines them, then her hand. All are quiet. Earlier, in the middle of poached eggs, rye toast, weak decaf, men wheeled the gurney out the back door. There was a sheet, but everyone recognized the small white fingers: Hazel, ’54. The aides said It was her time. Carol, now oldest, slumps at her window. She will not eat. She will not turn a white eye to Matlock, or the offer of Earl Grey, or the threat of Thorazine. She looks at the blue water, flat as soda, dashed with Miami sun. She remembers a different ocean, brackish and black, swelled with storm. The bitten coastline, the churn of green lobsters, small cod, shards of yacht—she smiles, then she dies, quiet as an orange grove.


IN WHICH CHRISTINA IMAGINES THAT DIFFERENT TYPES
OF ALCOHOL ARE MEN AND SHE IS SEEING THEM ALL

Gin was nice enough but had tiny teeth: little ships
of white. Whiskey showed up an hour late,
took me and my one good dress

to a crab shack. We cracked boiled crawfish, swept
our fingers over the tablecloth, left butter behind.

I hid in the back of the coffee shop—crouched
behind whole beans—and scoped out Rum, then left
without introducing myself. Maybe it’s cruel of me

but I just wasn’t feeling exotic. Bourbon
and I had fun, but it was all cigarettes

and ex-wives. Tequila was ever the gentleman, blond
and smooth as caramel. Bought all my rounds
and when I came back from the bathroom he,

my wallet, my car: all gone. The bartender didn’t look
sorry. My mother set me up with Brandy

and I should have known that he’d be the type
to own small dogs. I don’t like poodles.
I saw Gin again last night; both of us out

with other people. His: a redhead. I waved anyway,
and when he smiled, all sharp points

and blooded gums, well, that was when I fell in love.


 

 
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