Sambuca Prelude

First kiss was savored
with the swirl of sambuca.
I was 21 and knew much better
than to drink and kiss,
he was much older and hoped
alcohol might somehow
loosen my tongue
after two months of pantomime.

When I ordered
iced sambuca after dinner
he took it as confession.
Always having been sober,
I murmured only with lips
tightly pressed
while feigning disinterest.

My memory of that night
still kisses with coffee beans
and sweet aniseed -
aroma that wafted through
the transparent whiteness of
my wedding veil seven years later.

Arlene Ang

If you've any comments on this poem, Arlene Ang would be pleased to hear from you.