by Nathan James
Fireworks crackle over Bronson Park; the crowd hoots. You mention your toes are numb
despite your shoes, so we walk hand-in-hand to a booth and I buy you a warm brandy.
I say: We’re standing on the rim of a century. Your reply—Two centuries—is tinny, dressed in blue.
I think: Tonight is a snifter—its base in the wide-bottomed park edged in cobalt blue,
the glassy highlights of snow, the stem of a single oak shrouded in December, numb.
Tinted streetlights offer the only source of warmth, casting this jubilee in the caramel glow of brandy
Only you distill me. The rest of the city is hidden, like the brandy
crouching behind the taste of port or the flashes of cerulean and topaz blue
In the folds of your purple anorak despite the dim light. Tonight I am everything but numb.
Though my fingers are numb, I hold a chilled glass of cherry brandy as I drink in this blue, tapered night.