Reconstructed portrait of my parents with glassware not yet broken

 
All our stories are flowers with wounds in them.
     In one, it is high summer and sometimes I want her
dress to be white and stiff like a sail. Other times
     it is the color of a bright marigold, its scent
a mixture of shyness and ambition as she stands
     at a restaurant front counter, clanging the cash
register drawer open and close. As for him,
     he smells like a library or a phone book left
open in the rain. Or he is the more than 3,000
     closely overlapping steps of Machu Picchu:
not even a knife could slide between his teeth
     to topple a whole empire. Above her head, 
shelves of flutes and cordial glasses. Highballs,
     hurricanes; shots, snifters, shooters. When he
bears down is he a storm front darkening, a wall
     of clouds with no alternate ending? This moment
is not yet the spill of amber-colored glass, not yet 
     the nostalgia of a jazz band playing Let me
call you sweetheart
on the radio, not yet
     counting the months on knuckles and grooves 
to the offer she could not afterwards refuse. 
    
 
 

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