Posts Tagged ‘Chartreuse’

It is perhaps, no miracle, this glass

of aromatic Chartreuse, but

it opens the mouth surprisingly.

Sweetly green. Intensely green.

A wildly vital explosion of green

that baptizes the inside of the cheeks,

a smile turned in on itself.

Here in the glass, the taste

of three hundred years of practice,

here the devotion of Carthusian monks

who live in the mountains of France.

If I were more discerning, perhaps

I could find in it notes of hyssop and thyme,

cinnamon, mace, lemon balm, angelica root.

But of the one hundred thirty ingredients,

I taste mostly peppermint. And green.

What I most wish to taste

in the glass is a hint of silence.

Some of the monks speak once a week.

Some speak once a year. The rest of the time

they spend in study. And prayer.

My friend Alan says he stole a bottle once.

I think I taste the why. Not the flavor,

though it’s alluring, but the way

it makes the mouth

so aware of itself, so utterly alive,

so willing to believe there’s

so much more to learn

about opening.

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