Moon Bottle

Poem by Terri Witek

If you drink from it, you too will grow bitter,
though your profile will be perfect.

 

If you drink deeply, you will see all the way through
to its other side, identically empty,

 

and find in its lees young Herakles
outfitted for travel in a star-patterned chiton

 

and gulping night air from a flask
you’ve provided. If, then, you hurl

 

what you’ve held to a thousand bright pieces,
you’ll set off on a journey so smooth

 

and unbroken all bitterness will drain
the mouth of your going and, wave

 

by sheer wave, release your breath
from its burden until morning.