I love you on the rocks.
I love you mixed with orange and bitters.
I will even sip you straight.
Clear as winter runoff in Spring,
clear as small-town tap water
distilled, pure and smelling of mineral—
but you have your own lingering smell
of juniper and herb, shocked by fermentation,
its product measured with proof.
I drink you at the hotel bar for $12 a glass,
I drink you on the sofa in the blinking light of the TV,
in my lawn chair in the yard, or on a friend’s back porch.
At 5pm, you squelch the madness
of another doldrum day and by midnight
you remind me I’m not so young.
Whether served or mixed in my kitchen
there's no contest when presented
with a Pepsi challenge, I choose you
by fragrance alone, no other spirit
will do. Tonight, I reach for ice and bottle,
nod at the clink in my rocks glass
swirl before taking a sip.