warehouse wines & spirits, 10003 (v2)

friday evening. crowd at the liquor store.
with an armful of bottles she walked, all round and royal, to the checkout.
maybe she’s having a dinner party, soon she’d be among friends and raising glasses.
the bottle closest to me was priced $2.99, that one would be her cooking wine, poured over beef and flavored with star anise, tender and alive.
her lipstick looks great.
she holds each bottle up to the fluorescent light, source of all color confusion and shopper dismay, checks that it’s red. asks the cashier to check, too. red, indeed.
before taking off with heavy plastic bag in hand she asks the man to protect her bottles, give them a slip of cardboard, a brown-bag sheath, anything to stop the clink and break and spill of red red wine.
can’t let another bottle break. last time she was almost home when the glass cracked, leaving another suspicious stain on the sidewalk. last time, she cried.
now all three bottles would get safely home; enough to get through the week, she said.
six glasses per bottle, eighteen in all, seven days, gives her two a night and three on weekend nights to enjoy in her safely home, safely alone.