The last glass of pinot noir,
blood-dark ruby
gleams in the mirror above the bar
that reflects the half-familiar face,
the man in the shabby
black felt hat, almost the face
of my landlord, or a character
imagined in a story, a tale of pirates
pursuing a ruby, like this, in the depths
of the glass, the spark of fire
in the black crystal.  I imagine,
as the jazz trombonist wails, a woman,
gasping out her last
breath in St.  James’
Infirmary, the whereabouts
of the Ruby, hidden in the rock,
her heart, pulsing, life lines
in the stone, like tendrils
of vine, blooming, leafing, fruiting,
and leaving
behind the nectar, the intoxicating
Pinot Noir, unique, only one glass
remaining, to savor,
to lift in salute,
and drink down—
This Is My Blood.

Liz Huck