30 June 2008

he said, take a right at the light, keep going straight until night, and then boy, you're on your own

Tube Tester, Princeton, WV

Yogurt & Clementines
--Campbell McGrath

Dinner at a small restaurant I have happened upon by chance after a long day walking the city of Tunis, a neighborhood place among passageways of date palms, clean and friendly, where I am catered to like a meteorite crash landed in the courtyard. Cracked grains and parsely, tuna fish, coarse bread. Salad of chopped and spicy peppers. And then dessert, and suddenly everything is washed away--dust of the Sahara upon my tongue, odour of sour clove at the heart of the medina, the alienation of foreign currency, the sorrow of the alley cats among the ruins of Carthage, its wierd light and fragmented crypts, headless torsos, fields sown with salt, exile and loss, even my harrowing loneliness redeemed by a saucer of sweet and liquid yogurt, golden clementines from a branch freshly cut, stems and leaves still attached, an inchworm marking the course of his dinner, gratefully, undisturbed, mouthful by tiny mouthful.

No comments: