Beverage Of Choice
by Belinda Roddie
He drinks his glass of orange juice,
then remembers at the very last minute
that he doesn't like orange juice, and
his mouth puckers from the power of
a thousand Florida orchards. When he asks
for iced tea, his butler reminds him that
he hasn't had a sip of iced tea since he caught
his wife in bed with a rival golfer and a tall
Arnold Palmer in her slick, bedazzled fist.
So he demands a good old-fashioned beer
instead. "It's eight in the morning,"
says his butler, but his boss won't hear
a word of it. He lets the carbonation roil
his stomach like an old, cracked cauldron.
His inner pipes don't work the way they used
to, yet he belches loudly and laughs as if
he were nine years old again, challenging
his older brother to chug a cola or two
by the baseball diamond without stopping
to take a single, necessary breath.