Chez Heshme

It seems like yesterday
I was dining chez Heshme
on a pigeon a student had brought
in payment for his lessons
served up in a piquant sauce
on a bed of steaming couscous
with the sheeps balls Heshme said
would make me virile.
Tears streamed down my face
the tiny bones caught in my throat
I cried for more water
and the brown burnooses heaved
with raucous laughter

When I returned at sixty
with an envelope of old photos
everybody argued over
who was who
the restaurant remodeled
Heshme gone to his reward.
But dining there alone
I could still see his bovine face
behind the counter
beaming like the laughing cow
on a box of French cheese.
I could still feel
the warmth of your petite body
curled up like a satisfied cat
on my straw mattress.
I could still hear
the muezzin’s cries as the lights
of the medina flickered on
reminding us that no one lasts forever
that before too long we’d all
be dining alone chez Heshme
on a plate of fragrant memories.

 

(originally published in Pyrokinection)

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