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and corked, of dubious vintage

labeled, laid to mature

in dusty cellar

gleam subdued, resting

where silence rules


no exuberance permitted

to slake a naked thirst

or warming further

rise to the head


pent, unopened

I lay silent for decades

my bouquet, my defiance

undisturbed, untested

until one day

some errant hand

reached out with a grimace

turned me in my rack


without intention

slipped from prying fingers

burst open on the floor

oh shards, oh splinters

oh blood and beauty splashed,

screamed in pain of spill


my genie in a bottle

released at last

shock, stain and fear

from this accident forth

his breath repugnant, sour

unbottled now

may never be contained

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© Johnmichael Simon



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