Today I finally picked up that bottle of red wine
You left in my custodial care
Until you returned, to drink it with me

It’s now undrinkable – it wasn’t a wine to be aged
And had merely become part of my furniture
Reminding me of your absence every day

And unfulfilled promises

I tipped it in the kitchen sink
Directly over the plughole
Willing it to go straight down

Not wanting to look at it.
Or smell it.
Or to remember what you’d said was going to be

But there was so much of it, too much of it
– deep, rich, red – As if the blood I had spilled for you,
was now filling my sink, swirling before my eyes

It sloshed, gurgled and bubbled,
refusing to go down fast enough.
Fixating my gaze as it painstakingly slowly, drained away

Until there was nothing left
But the dregs
That I knew would be lurking down the bottom

I rinsed the sink, wanting every bit of it gone
But traces still remained
The smell, and a faint tinge of red against the stainless steel

So I scrubbed the sink
Replacing the aroma of your wine
With the fresh citrus smell of a cleaning wipe

Then I tossed the empty bottle in the recycling bin
Slamming down the lid
A pathetically small gesture in context

Reflecting the anger and pain.
the tears I had cried, and
the betrayal, and abandonment I had felt

Whenever you promised to come back
And drink that goddamn bottle
But never did

Then I opened my own bottle,
Of sparkling, bubbly, white wine
Crying the kind of tears that only come with endings

And drank a melancholy toast
To my tears, the changing nature of love, what had been,
and what I knew now was never going to be.

– Judi Reed, 2013