Draught of Ambrosia

"Her eyes hold red-veined / constellations, / deep, but barren, wells."
"Her eyes hold red-veined / constellations, / deep, but barren, wells."

Caught within
a glass of chardonnay,
held aloft between the
valley of my palms:
a globe of cobalt blue,

an abandoned sky.

Speak, Daughter of Atlas.
Tell them how
when the rain comes, 
only the thirst on one side
of the mountain will be quenched.

These words of an oracle
murmured over the mindless babble
of cocktail talk — clinking crystal and 
fountains trickling in the distance
— a rainstick, a prayer.

I drink until the sky is gone,
cloudless, pulled between my lips.
My breath cat piss vapors, 
an ether to set this dry grass ablaze.

Her eyes hold red-veined 
deep, but barren, wells.

Exhale with care, she says 
through salt-cracked lips.
Complicated fruit 
grows in such parched soil,

and this is no ordinary
California Chardonnay.

Natalie Downey is a writer and artist living in San Francisco, California. Her current work explores narrative and myth through the written word, watercolor and mixed media. Her fiction has been previously published in Full of Crow.

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