Café Antonia (and other fallen soldiers)
It’s strange to think
there are places on the planet
that you can pinpoint
exactly where you where
ten years ago.
Her birthday and a recommendation
from a friendly hotel receptionist
led to not just a meal,
or an experience,
but a story.
We wouldn’t have been brave enough
viewing the exterior,
and a French Moroccan restaurant
But it was one of those rare times
when you felt the planets aligned,
the heavens had deigned to favour you
and lady luck greeted you
with a big, wet French (Moroccan) kiss.
Waiters, atmosphere, décor, wine, food, prices;
characters in a narrative
told many times.
We sent many on the pilgrimage.
All came back believers.
Now our memories are just two ghosts
trapped inside the corpse
of another failed business.
We ask a local,
“It’s complicated” he says.
Tonight, we will light a candle;
remember that first tagine,
wine charged by the centimetre
and waiters who showed chefs wiped-clean plates
that promised hope for the English after all.