12:25 In The Off-License

By Jack Andrew Cribb

You place the red wine on the counter, take out your purse, offer the money across
the surface that was covered with anti-bacterial spray not ten minutes
ago,
clinical in its method
unnatural in its scent.

I’ve always thought that red wine is too often compared to blood,
maybe I could compare it to some shade of aurora
although I’ve never seen the northern lights.
The colour could be reproduced in vomit on a street corner,
a dense liquid somewhere between beetroot and cranberry.
We could compare it to the insides of rocks you’ve seen in bohemian shops
that are always drenched in patchouli funk and for-sale spirituality.
Maybe compare it to the seas of some imagined land in a child’s head,
swashbuckling colour with lasers and flying creatures scaled
and immense.

I could compare it to that deep raw feeling in your gut,
the one that tells you life never turned out
like you wanted it to, you hate your job and you have no one to comfort you at night,
and in the darkest corners of your desk dust gathers because you don’t create
and in the darkest corners of your mind dust gathers because you don’t go out anymore
and your flesh has started to wither and the dishes
have started to gather in the sink and smell.
I could compare it to the colour of blood.
But what would I know of comparison?
What would I know of connotation?
I’m simply selling you a bottle of wine.

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