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Sri Lanka a crow remembering bashkajacobs

Article Submitted By: BashkaJacobs
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 Time: 4:15 PM

A restaurant in Hikkaduwa

 

The Cool Spot is a ramshackle

Building with a worn out porch

It is painted an odd color

And sags in the center

And is covered with a moth

Eaten screen

The flies are bored

And cling to the ceiling

Fan which doesn’t always

Make a full circle

And usually stutters

In place before pushing

Itself on

 

There are Two rooms

And for some unfathomable

Reason

The chairs and tables are

On a ledge

Precariously balanced

 until

A customer comes in

And stabilizes them with

Weight.

 

There is no menu

But the owner rattles

Off what food is available

Because he is also the

Supervising cook

And the owner of an

Almost white apron

covering his belly

that seems to move of

its own accord.

 

His sous chefs are two

Pretty Sri Lankan girls

With smiles that would

Make toothpaste

 advertisers

Sigh.

 

They cut, stir, chop,

Scrape and seed

The girls are the color

Of coffee with cream

With warm full lips

And their skirts are short

And faded flower

Cottons but best of all

They giggle

Mirth tumbles out of them

As they watch the foreigner

With their almond eyes.

 

Their legs are long and spindly

As all the other Ceylonese

But these are Indian Tamils

And if you look at them

You can almost hear the sound

Of South Indian bells on

Their feet

 

Here in this cool spot kitchen

The two cultures have

Come together

Here in this kitchen there is

No war

 

The lazy easy Sri Lankan

Character is bolstered by

The work ethic of the Tamils

 

And with a flurry of hands

The food is served a

Wonderful pumpkin curry

 

I tell the owner I am writing

A cookbook and he invites me

Into his kitchen

Where I make notes as

The girls laugh

 

Then slowly in faltering

English one dares to ask

About my eye lashes.

 

My eyelashes?

Yes, is it the fashion

To wear them short?

And do I pluck them?

Is it the modern way?

Because they could clip

Theirs too.

I almost faint with shock

roll my eyes

When I realize they are

Absolutely serious

 

I look at these two beautiful

Young women in this ramshackle

Restaurant serving magnificent

Food who want to be

 chic and modern

They stand waiting

 for my answer

Their long black hair

 adorned with jasmine

With the longest lashes

 I have ever seen

And say enthusiastic

 Should we cut?  Should we?

They are in fact the

Dream of every new york model

Who carefully pastes her lashes

One by one for

a photo shoots

I think of my sparse

 colorless lashes and

laugh and

Say no, you are beautiful

 just the way

 you

Are.

About the Author

bashka has short lashes and considers eating out a great adventure, and has learned from wonderful cooks under tents, in shiny kitchens, and outside under the stars.


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Submitted: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 Time: 4:15 PM