Romance, Effendi, Romance

We sit and eat Teriyaki Chicken Kebabs, while watching
My parents’ dogs. What should we do now? she asks.
We could spend the evening writing poetry to each other, I say.
I’m so exhausted, I just want to watch TV, she says.
That is OK too, I say, and together we watch HGTV.

Later in the evening, she asks me, disbelievingly, what kind of poetry I write.
I guess realist poems, I say. I have never let her see my poetry.
You should write me a romantic poem, she says.

I am taken back to the Middle-East in colonial times,
When it was full of adventure, and pyramids, and tombs, and effendis,
And Sol Bloom and the Streets of Cairo and Maurice Jarre.
You could wear khakis then, and their pressed seams would remain immaculate,
Their soft but stiff fabric unsullied by sand or dirt or the decomposing detritus of ancient mummified Pharaohs.
Such wonder, such romance!
But now in their place are grubby terrorists with self-made IEDs.

She yawns, and I pour the rest of the wine into our glasses.
Tomorrow we will need to get up early.

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In the Central Tower, Watching.

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