Author: Anne Brannen

If Mnemosyne abandoned you on a bus
in Afghanistan, where you sat on a box
of radios, smuggling connection over
the border, if she took out your nervous
system and scampered away, you might
find yourself one night on a street in a city
you don’t know, reading shop signs
for a clue, ah, Northampton, where’s that,
parking a car full of objects you’ve
never seen, all undoubtedly useful,
finding a notebook with a restaurant
recorded in it, and directions to this same
street. Saying goodbye to the old dog,
who clearly knows you and for whom you feel
love, you enter that restaurant, where the yellow
smell of turmeric greets you, as does the host,
who tells you, when you ask if anyone waits
for you, to look over here, where a woman
you have never seen, but whose face fills
you with joy, sits with pilaf, apparently
your favorite, and if we had all been deserted,
and if she took our notebooks when she left,
the waiter would wander the room asking
who would like the kebab, and plates of lamb
curry would appear before us, while the cooks
mused over vegetables and meats and decided
what next to prepare, and the host, opening
the cash register, accepted whatever monies
the departing guests pulled from their wallets,
pounds, greenbacks, afghanis, and later
we would amble down the street,
wondering what next, till we heard
Argus barking, since, having no notebook,
no words, being neither poet nor king,
he had never been deserted,
and recognized Odysseus when he saw her.


Read Anne Brannen’s blog, Ephemera Ephemerae