Instructions

This entry is part 31 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11

“I drink from a small spring,
my thirst exceeds the ocean.”
—Adam Zagajewski

Spanish folk music plays today on the sound system of this Turkish coffee shop where I come to sit and write and use the free wireless network (well, really, not completely free if you figure in the cost of the $1.64 glass copita of Turkish tea I’ve ordered, plus tax). A chorus warbles the refrain from “Granada” and ends with a flourish of castanets and foot-stomping. Then more guitars, more singing. I can almost see the women’s arms dipping and lifting, maneuvering their ruffled bata de cola skirts, which troubles the oversized flowers they’ve pinned in their hair. I notice that the girl tending the espresso machine has cut her long hair since I was here last; she’s looped a scarf of silvery grey around her neck though everything else she wears is still black. On the coffee stand by the window, someone has placed a pair of embroidered felt slippers, perhaps the kind a minor pasha might have worn indoors or on his way back from the bath. Outside, a skim of snow’s imprinted on the walk with winding, parallel lines of arrows, like a child’s map to buried treasure. The sun, guest maitre d’ this noon, parts the potted greens and signals for me to take my time, cup my fingers around the bowl; sip the tea while it’s hot, but slowly.

Luisa A. Igloria
01.14.2011

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.

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