When the clerk cards me for the cheap wine I’ve placed on the counter, I wonder how much more of this the face, the body will take. When cement sets and there’s no going back to trace indelible initials into the sidewalk, all that remains is moving on, the soles of my flats reporting the descent of years into the ascension of tree rings. The women who have passed this way are either wise or bitter, one saying you become another beauty, the other claiming the right to dismantle. What can’t be forgotten becomes opaque in the strong hands of my masseuse who I tip twenty dollars. Afterwards, I walk out with the star-bright pains his hands wounded into me, look for something to dull the sting of briars and scalpels. That is what the wine is for.