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I believe in artichokes

Italy did ruin me. After that first trip I came back disgusted by bodega coffee, which now smelled of old socks. Before, it was just fine. I rolled my eyes at red sauce joints, detouring old standbys like a stranger. If eating can be seen as a religious or spiritual experience I had been to the mountain. In time I would return on pilgrimages, always holding the simple pleasures in my thoughts.  An artichoke, methodically fried in good olive oil, with some salt. Black truffles, good butter and fresh pasta twisting around the back of a fork. A very cold and tiny glass of porto bianco sipped in a Genoa bar, with my friend Federico. A man cleaning sardines on a block of wood in the street. A woman selling green figs that she wraps into a newspaper cone. I have thousands of these memories, these artifacts. But I live in Moscow, where there has been an embargo for years now, and there is no population that expects perfect mounds of fresh cheese. They ship powdered palm oil here, that gets …

tiny movements

A midnight snow, now slush
and the women clicking on high heeled
boots clutching umbrellas
the workers pushing
makeshift, plywood
shovels, and great brown
puddles back and
forth.
Me, clean shaven
working with the lights
off, sipping the first coffee
in a week. Some sweet
bread
and people to call
meetings to hustle to, waving my hands
around, hoping things translate
hoping these guys really have money to spend
not just half-baked questions
like last time.
Ah, remember to take those
vitamins, remember to set the
right time on my watch
remember that some things
get solved by ignoring them
remember that there is nothing
better in the world than
a guitar with new strings, or a
Sunday night lasagne
or the snow that just fell as I
wrote this, as the smell of
a woman's hair, as money found
in pockets of never-worn coats
as my daughter's tiny
movements
as she sleeps.

Comments

brenda said…
Life happens when you're not looking. Just made that up, M. But it seems appropriate. Wooden shovels?? Your fresh snow. I can feel it. and ah yes, hoping clients have money not half baked questions. I live there.

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