Mixing Manhattans in Heaven - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Mixing Manhattans in Heaven

When skies drizzle over Baltimore,
I taste bourbon in the air, and know
my parents are drinking Manhattans—two each—
in a bistro in another realm,
where ice cubes like stars clink into night;
maraschino cherries dazzle the winter-weary earth.

After cocktails, my father leads the choir, blends
a bevy of languages into song. My mother
crochets a pearl afghan every angel covets.
My parents lounge, share a cloud,
reminisce about how they met at a bus stop
in the spring of 1940.

I want one more happy hour with them,
a wedge of time to toast their light, the way
they shape this new green season.


Shirley J. Brewer
The Cortland Review, 2012
Bistro in Another Realm, 2017

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In Bistro in Another Realm, award-winning Baltimore poet Shirley Brewer offers fresh insights into the different realms of being human. Brewer will be reading selections from her new book at The Ivy Bookshop ~ Wednesday, August 2, 2017 – 7:00pm.  The Ivy Bookshop is located at 6080 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209.  For more information about this reading event, visit The Ivy Bookshop.


About the author

Shirley J. Brewer

Shirley J. Brewer graduated from careers in bartending, palm-reading and speech therapy. She serves as poet-in-residence at Carver Center for the Arts & Technology in Baltimore. Her poems garnish BarrowStreet, Poetry East, Slant, Gargoyle, Comstock Review, and many other journals. Shirley’s poetry chapbooks include A Little Breast Music, 2008, Passager Books, and After Words, 2013, Apprentice House. In 2017, Main Street Rag released her first full-length collection of poems, Bistro in Another Realm. Shirley was awarded the first Creativity Award for Excellence in Plorking (Play + Work) from the University of Baltimore, where she earned her Master’s degree in Creative Writing/Publishing Arts. Her definition of shame is a bare wrist. Contact the author.

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