before the reading

“can I buy you a drink?”

a bold question to someone I’d only just met

but it was a bar, and the question’s been asked before.

nominating self for close attention can shake your confidence.

you played the barman like a musical instrument.

he, a master of his craft, slipped considerately into the rhythm of your tune

making it mine to share with you.

“I’m a little nervous” I said to him.

timed to perfection

just as the neck of the wine bottle began to tip.

then it was your turn.

“Is that all you got?  No Tullamore Dew?”

Jack Daniels sat on the shelf wondering if he would go to the dance.

as it happened, he did, for want of competition.

at the reading, you went first.

your words, I heard someone say, could have been a painting

catching in our throats at the very vision.

you shone

and you know,

Jack had nothing to do with it.

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