Bacardi Limón
Mary Beth Hines

My friend of the citron-and-white-striped nails, yesterday
as you celebrated sixty, hustling your latest ad campaign
in a city a thousand miles away, I sipped a mojito
alone at our long-ago neighborhood bar, and toasted
my recall of nineteen—our trip, and how you stripped
the skin off that lime in a Vera Cruz bar, sliced to twist
past zest to pith, and the neon drinks we clenched
in our fists, and the hordes of princes vying for a kiss,
and how later you said it seemed as if a sip, a sip, another sip
might seed a fruit akin to love, and how when you leapt
onto that table and danced, each nail glinted, a lemon
confection, sugared shield over underbelly, and how you stunned
the drunks, coiling like Salome, thrust of hipbones through veils
of smoke, and the braid of your arms over your head,
palms cupped, rapt as in prayer, as in cradling the heady air.