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Not here.
Somewhere else.
a Tuesday night
at Amici in The Gardens
in the middle of a mad week
at the heart of a mad city.

They call this dish
spaghetti ai tesori del mare,
and as my mind’s tongue
stumbled on the syllables,
an agile mystery
kidnapped me and intrigue,
with her vintage motif,
started whispering
her secrets: A man in Sicily
waiting for his sweetheart
to change her mind
rolled the pasta dough
with his hands,
his mind preoccupied,
the ring with its pretty
little rock burning
a hole in his pocket
under the white apron.
Three young boys
flying kites made from
yesterday’s newspapers
paused in mid-running-stride
to watch as
the truck that carried
the crates of tomatoes ambled
across the country road.
A daughter yearning
for freedom and unaware
of her own beauty stood
at daybreak on the shore
to greet the returning boats
and buy the freshest catch
of mussels and clams.

Their names got lost
in the hot kitchen, but
their stories made it
to my plate.
I heard their voices
with every forkful,
and smelled the salt in
their sighs with every bite,
a dozen songs of the senses
tangled, like
ribbons in the wind.

The woman
at the piano behind me
played a Dan Fogelberg song,
sending half of
my soul sleepwalking
on the Golden Gate, and
the other half to remembering
past heartbreaks.

I am not awake.
I am not dreaming.
Somewhere in between.
I close my eyes and inside,
my humdrum existence
has meaning.

“La Perejila” by photographer Ges Rules


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