Shared Cup

Chalice in the right hand. Bleached
handkerchief in the left. Still there are those
who never touch the lip. Dippers we call them, their wafers
held high like a toe above icy water.
They fear colds or AIDS, are mostly single.

Your clue's in the way they tilt their faces, away.
Or others, shamefully close. A guzzler
will lean against your hand, muscle the cup.
Alcoholics are a special case. They
cross their arms over their chest or,

when they drink, shake visibly.
Watch out for teenagers who dodge right
then left. Let their parents decide
how much and when. The point
is never to waste a drop, to catch that drop

before it falls onto the secretary's starched collar.
And always wipe around the rim,
though it is gesture, though something intangible
still floats in the wine, enters
each version of bent, holy body.