Sommelier’s Prayer

Oliver Bendorf

Take this rosé and taste the watermelon
seeds of being seven again

when the soccer field was my domain
and everyone was aging well.

Lord, when I was seven I didn’t yet know
I didn’t believe in you. My silhouette

was trimmed in felt. My white dress
waited on a hanger in the closet.

Was it you who turned away, or me?
I carry in my cheek a shibboleth:

a bitter wafer, one hell of a pairing
for no tannin will ever dissolve it.

But God, if Muscadet is the oyster wine, then
what I first tasted from a woman’s back

knows no appellation. And into that holy dappled
daybreak, it wasn’t your name that she called.