swilling back and forth in the beer between
my tongue and the mug's deep ulcer.
It was last seen in Lisbon and, later, looming
in a museum of phlegmatic painters who
prized the Madonna above salvation.
My mug is rimmed with frost, an analgesic.
I peer over its horizon to see a toy boat
wobble on the Biergarten pond.
The mug's a sun going down in my mouth.
It alps up like a snowglobe, mountainous
with lipstick ridges. Inside my father bows,
shoveling snow. He looks beyond me, turning
to wave at my mother in the window as she
sucks the life from the ice cube in her martini.
by Sarah J. Sloat
published in The Dirty Napkin
[photo by anni franni via flickr]