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I try and get it right,
how she loves the cauliflower soup
in that little Italian place uptown
with dark red walls
and the grumpy old maitre d’
with cauliflower ears, and how
it’s those ears that help me recall
her beloved cauliflower soup.
But then she reminds me
it’s actually brussels sprouts
she orders uptown,
that the walls aren’t dark red—
that’s a different spot—and that
the maitre d’ must be from a time
and place before we ever met,
if he’s real at all.
She’s right, of course, right
about everything, and I see
I’ve bent another indelible line
she’s drawn with the ink
of time and place,
and that I can’t be trusted
not to order cauliflower soup for her.
At the same time,
I am very fond of my old maitre d’
with the cauliflower ears,
grumpy as he is.
Peter Schirerson lives in Palo Alto, California. Originally from Los Angeles, he went to school at Cal Berkeley, University of Victoria, and Harvard University. He has studied Zen Buddhism in the U.S and Japan and is a priest and Dharma lineage holder in the Suzuki Roshi Soto Zen lineage. Peter is the author of The Welter of Me and You published by Autumn House Press.