Shiva Arcana

“The wine lake,” says my Uncle Rick,
an alcoholic policeman, “refers to the glut of wine produced
on European soil. Every year, 1.7 billion more bottles
than they can sell, perfectly consumable,
get broken.”

This after rattling a shovel-full of soil
onto his nephew’s casket? I should break
his face, let him arrest me, my brother would have
had it been my Shiva.

But then he switches to cheese,
and I sit and listen, un-obliged to speak
to anyone else, and allow myself to be lulled
off into the lake of loss by this man’s
arcana, his glut of wine and cheese trivia
perfectly consumable.

BRIAN WEINBERG teaches creative writing at the University of Louisville. His stories and essays have appeared in n+1, Salon, New Letters, Bellevue Review, Northwest Review, Notre Dame Review, and elsewhere.