The Jury Finds La Bicyclette Rouge Guilty as Charged
poem by Jenni B. Baker

August 15, 2011
It was the five dollar and ninety-nine cent bottle
of drugstore pinot noir with the faux French name
and the red bicycle on the label that kissed you—
the fermentation of a few low-grade grapes
that sublet my mattress to a second tenant.

And so, you see, I did not orchestrate
clandestine cigarette smoking,
the partaking of early morning pastries,
or the lighting of sparklers on our weathered porch
while taking shelter from the rain.

Nor can I be held culpable
for late night discussions of Sufi poets,
dipping toes in the sun-warmed Kentucky river
or fingers tapping rhythmically against torsos,
playing ribs like piano keys.

And so, upon hearing that you’re newly licking
the wine-coated lips of every woman in the Wolverine State,
I plot no revenge nor issue mea culpas to myself,
but instead hurtle green glass towards white walls
as reparation for its sins.

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