Howard Firkin
Your absence has the sting of single malt
and yet I sip your presence in this glass,
the aromatic warmth my lips let pass
and welcome in a rolling somersault
that fills me: memories of body heat.
It’s evening now and even now the birds
are open-beaked with heat, their wings held out
to catch the smallest breeze. They hop about
without a song, like me, without the words
to say without you I’m left incomplete.

The whisky disappears like whisky does.
Your perfume in the glass begins to dry.
My head is numbed with whisky’s gentle buzz,
not puzzled where you are tonight, but why.