A Member of the Wait Staff Delivers a Glass of Ice to Oprah

Summer, 2005 / No. 14

“Oh, you’re an angel,” Oprah said simply, when

I rested the glass of ice on the Egyptian linen.

As if I could stretch to the sky like a Judas tree,

as if a message was mixed in the lead A. H. Heisey

wineglass: the gathering of waters She called seas.

An entire globe of ocean: plankton, algae, craw-

fish, and treasure, an answer swimming in Her maw,

truth’s great potion. How beautiful I felt then, in my

alabaster blouse, wrinkled dress slacks, and dry,

sensible black shoes, to resemble an angel.

And in the glass, I swore I saw Oprah scull

then glide on an improvised raft of sliced lemon,

a knife for an oar.