Lunch in India

 

In April was the jackal born,
in June the rain-fed rivers swelled:
“Never in all my life,” said he,
“have I so great a flood beheld.”
-Kipling



Goodyear is in India.
Historic Bucks County,
Lahaska, Pennsylvania.
Eating a good lunch of Balti Kebab.

Listening to the tabla
and the sitar woven deeply
as they always seem to be
in their musical marriage.

Not working
in a conventional setting
somehow leads him out
to lunch often.

And beyond the food and people
he also likes to visit
places other than America
for an hour.

Yesterday was Japanese
Ota-Ya, today Cross Culture
a Sikh establishment with many turbans
and very red chairs.

He is cheering up, eating
his young slaughtered sheep,
and his mouth burns with cayenne
not guilt, although that will come later.

It is precisely one o’clock
in the year two thousand
and mistakenly he believes
all that is hard has been left behind.

Many years afterwards in the now of it
he will read his notes from that day
and be grateful how little foresight
any of us is allowed to possess.

He has a coffee and leaves
a generous tip. All is well,
as it will often seem to be
just before the point tips.

In front of him lies a suburban plague
some of his own making
some simply because of life
dressed up instead as fate.

A decade will pass before
he opens this notebook again,
but no longer will he lunch out
with eyes so barely open.

 

 

 

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